(Received February 10, 1862.)
I have placed all General Stone's public and private papers and personal effects under strict guard from a sense of duty to the public service and his own defense, and will seal all up in presence of General Burns, Colonel Dana, and Colonel Devens, and await further orders. Have you any orders on the subject?
W. A. GORMAN,
Keep them in charge for the present.
A. V. COLBURN.
Frederick, Md., February 11, 1862.
Major General GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN,
Commander-in-Chief U. S. Army:
GENERAL: In obedience to your order I have endeavored, since my return from Washington, to obtain correct information of the condition of affirs in this portion of the Department of the Potomac. The enemy on our front has been unquestionably greatly weakened and demoralized by the late movements of General Jackson's army. Not less than 1,500 men were disabled at one time by the effects of frost and cold alone, and many amputations were necessary. it is said on good authority that 2,500 men were in their various hospitals. No important results whatever were obtained by him at any point on our lines to compensate for the suffering and loss of his men, and the consequence has been great discontent among men and quarrels among officers, ending in the tender of his resignation by General Jackson. The enemy was never in a feebler condition than at this time. His force is chiefly in the vicinity of Winchester and beyond. The reports of large detachments near Charlestown and Harper's Ferry are greatly exaggerated, in my belief.
On our side it may be said our men are healthy, well clothed, pretty well armed, with a very sharp appetite for work. The earth roads in our vicinity are alost impassable, so much so that it would be with difficulty that we could get our troops out of camp; but once out there are railroads or turnpikes to every post from Point of Rocks to Cumberland, upon which we could move at any moment without serious obstruction. The same is true of the roads in Virginia. Nothing could be worse than the cross-roads there, but from every point between Harper's Ferry to Cumberland there are passabel roads or turnpikes centering on martinsburg and Winchester. The state of the roads constitutes no insuperable difficulty in our way. I think as soon as the batteries reach me which your ordered forward, and which we hope to receive at the close of this week, we shall be ready for any movement. We can occupy Harper's Ferry at any moment now, and I do not doubt, with the co-operation of General Lander, that we can occupy Winchester and Leesburg by the 1st of March. The enemy has not been in worse condition, and our troops never in better, than at this time.
34 R R-VOL LI, PT I