2d, Damascus and Ridgeville. As soon as General Schenck responds to my telegram of this date, I hope to be able to report a complete connection on that route. In the meantime, cavalry pickets will be placed on the northern and western roads to this place, my HEADQUARTERS being adjacent to the town, to re-enforce them. Respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. H. FRENCH,
Major-General of Volunteers.
BALTIMORE, MD., July 2, 1863. (Received 9. 40 p. m.)
I have positive information of one brigade, and two are reported, of rebel cavalry crossing at Williamsport to-day, and taking the direct road to Greencastle and Chambersburg. They were from 11 a. m. to 4 p. m. crossing. My informant saw what he understood to be one brigade, of about 2, 500, with five pieces of artillery. They told him the commander was General [W. E.] Jones.
ROBT. C. SCHENCK,
Major-General. (Same to Meade.)
WASHINGTON, July 2, 1863.
Brigadier General J. G. BARNARD,
Chief Engineer, Defenses of Washington:
SIR: The frequently recurring alarms on the south side of the river have created a nervous apprehension of danger in the minds of our hired laborers, and many of them have in consequence left the work. I understand a large number have determined to leave to-day. I fear, therefore, that we shall find ourselves crippled in our laboring force, and that, too, at the time when they are most wanted, unless we resort to some extraordinary means to compel them to remain on the work. I do not know to what extent military force may be employed to effect this object, but it seems to me that the emergency would justify the seizure of a few of those who have determined to leave the work, and compelling them to work under guard. This may seem to be a harsh measure, but it would, I think, prove effectual, and work a speedy cure of the evil complained of. If this suggestion is approved, I suppose it would be proper to have it authorized by the general commanding the department. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
B. S. ALEXANDER,
SIGNAL STATION, July 2, 1863.
General DE RUSSY:
GENERAL: From the scouting of the last few days, I am satisfied that there are not any organized bodies of the enemy near our front. But I learned this morning that a small party of recruits were organiz-