HARPER'S FERRY, September 10, 1862.
Commanding, Martinsburg, Va.:
GENERAL: Yours of yesterday arrived during my absence on the lines, which prevented my answering. As there is no force of consequence, that I can hear of in the Shenandoah Valley but straggling guerrillas, which a small force can resist, it is important that Downey's forces should remain in position to protect the railroad until I can obtain my supplies, particularly Opequon bridge. I have the umtost confidence that McClellan (who si General-in-Chief, Halleck being Secretary of War, Pope, and Mcdowell removed) will drive the enemy across the Potomac, and whichever way he comes we must do our best to retard and harass him; any force over 15,000 [which] he brings, our united forces could do no more than take position, or [if] separated to doge. My orders are with my command to hold this place at all hazards and to the lsat extremity. To divide my command would lead to the loss of this place and destruction of the detachmen tI shouldsent out. This, then, could not be done without acting contrary to the orders and wishes of the Government. Should the enemy retreat on any other line than throughthis place it is my intention having my base secure to saly with what force I can spare and attack his leading columns, obstruct roads, &c. But I could not make a detachment to go to so open a place as Kearneysville liable to be turned on both flanks by the enemy marching from Maryland, and could be cut off from any direction but one road to Winchester or Romney. My pickets and scouts have been very successfulin grabbing those of the enemy, and making his whole army beat to arms, keeping him continually annoyed.
I am, general, with great respect your obedient servant.
D. S. MILES.
Colonel SEcond Infantry.
MARTINSBURG, September 10, 1862
Colonel Downey reports to me from Shepherdstown that he encountered the enemy at or near Boonsborough to-day with a force of all arms advancing, but don't say whether toward Shepherdstown or Hagerstown. Better strengthen Shepherdstown with cavalry immediately and Kearneysville with infantry and artillery.
Washington, D. C., September 10, 1862
THOMAS A. SCOTT, Esq., Philadelphia
Your telegram jsut received* and exhibited to General Halleck, who will answer that part of it which relates to your request for guns and ammunition to be brought from Pittsburg and eastern points. I will see Colonel Wright on his arrival here. No general officer has been detailed for Pennsylvania, but the State being within General Wool's department he has been ordered to go to Philadelphia and will probably be there this evening.
EDWIN M. STANTON.
Secretary of War.
*See VOL. XIX, Part II, p. 249.