moved to Washington, and my supply of ammunition is very limited; also of provisions. To be shut up with an infantry force in the gorge of Maryland Heights without a depot would render me liable to disaster. I can do the enemy mischief outside of the mountain, as he can have no supplies. The force detached to Washington should be sent back to me, as I have but two brigades.
WM. H. FRENCH,
FREDERICK CITY, MD., July 5, 1863. (Received 7 p. m.)
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: I have a brigade occupying the passes, with infantry and artillery. The cavalry detachment which destroyed the pontoon bridge at Falling Waters, 3 miles this side of Williamsport, also captured an ammunition train, which was thrown into the river.
The enemy had commenced a trestle-bridge at the ferry. This has been ordered to be broken up by me. I have positive information that there is no bridge at Clear Spring.
I have just received information that the enemy are fortifying the heights covering the Shepherdstown Ford, and that a bridge is constructed, all ready to swing across from the Virginia side.
Lee is said to be moving to place his right on the river at Williamsport, his left and mass being at Chambersburg. It seems as if he was taking up the Antietam campaign.
I sent a dispatch about the smallness of my command, and that it would be throwing away a regiment or two to put them into the cul-de-sac of Maryland [Heights] without ammunition or supplies, there being only a few days' now here.
I can worry their rear through Crampton's Gap, and delay their passage of the river, which I am told cannot now be forded. I want troops from Washington, and supplies.
WM. H. FRENCH,
[P. S.]-Reliable scouts have been sent out this morning to bring me information as to the movements of Lee's army from Chambersburg. There was no force at Hagerstown at 4 p. m. yesterday.
JULY 5, 1863-[8 p. m.]
Major-General FRENCH, Frederick:
A column of the enemy's cavalry, probably covering flanks or for South Mountain Pass, passed through Emmitsburg about daylight this morning, bound, as they say, for Frederick. Notify Buford, and give them a rap, if possible.
Major-General, Chief of Staff.