Reports of Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks, U.S. Army, commanding Department of the Shenandoah, of operations May 14-June 16, and including instructions from the President and Secretary of War.
MAY 15--JUNE 17, 1862.--Operations in the Shenandoah Valley.
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME 15 [S# 15]

(Part I)

STRASBURG, May 14, 1862--3.30 p.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON

(Received 5.30 p.m.) Nothing new has occurred to-day. The enemy has not moved beyond Mount Jackson in this direction except by its cavalry, and then to return again. General Hatch stills occupies Woodstock with cavalry. I have declined to order the bridges burned or the telegraph destroyed as inconsistent with the purposes of the Government, unless absolutely necessary to our safety. Very heavy rain all day.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


 WAR DEPARTMENT,
May 16, 1862--12.30 p.m.

Major-General BANKS:

Please place two of your regiments to guard the railroad from Strasburg to Front Royal, so as to allow Geary to direct his force on other points that are threatened. Answer immediately whether you can do so and how soon they will be in position.

EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of 'War


STRASBURG, May 16, 1862---4 p.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON.
Secretary of War.

I will send two regiments to protect the road between this place and Front Royal by to-morrow noon, 17th instant. This will reduce my force greatly, which is already too small to defend Strasburg if attacked.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


STRASBURG, May 17, 1862--12 m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

(Received 12.45 p.m.) Owing to the absence of cars my regiment will not reach Front Royal till toward night. It has to march on the railroad, but will be in season to protect bridges, &c. About 100 of the enemy's cavalry reported at Columbia Furnace, on line with Woodstock. No infantry in that neighborhood. Ewell's force reported by deserters who left him Tuesday to be still at Swift Run Gap.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SHENANDOAH,
May 18, 1862--10.30 p.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON.

No indications of infantry in the valley. Colonel De Forest, with detachment of Fifth New York Cavalry, encountered two companies rebel cavalry this morning and drove them through Woodstock and scoured the country in our front. No signs of enemy in this vicinity with this exception. Three hundred rebel cavalry reported 10 miles from Front Royal, in Chester Gap.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


WAR DEPARTMENT,
May 21, 1862.

Major-General BANKS, Strasburg:

Please report immediately the number and position of the force in your command, and whether any, and what, of Colonel Miles' force has been removed from the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Also the position and number of the enemy so far as known to you.

EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.


STRASBURG, VA., May 21, 1862-.-5 p.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

(Received 8.15 p.m.) Your dispatch just received. My force at Strasburg is 4,476 infantry, two brigades; 2,600 [1,600] cavalry; ten Parrot t guns, and six smoothbore pieces. The larger part of this force is at work on fortifications and constructing lines of defense. I have on the Manassas Gap Railroad, between Strasburg and Manassas, 2,500 infantry; six companies cavalry, and six pieces of artillery. There are five companies cavalry, First Maine, near Strasburg, belonging to Colonel Miles' command. No other troops of his command are here. Of the enemy I received information last night, direct from New Market, that Jackson has returned to within 8 miles of Harrisonburg, west. General Frémont telegraphed me this morning that Jackson had moved from Shenandoah Mountain toward my front, and other information from different sources confirms these reports. I have no doubt that Jackson's force is near Harrisonburg and that Ewell still remains at Swift Run Gap. Their united force is about 16,000. I shall communicate by letter more at length the condition of affairs and the probable plans of the enemy.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General.


STRASBURG, May 21, 1862--10.30 p.m.
(Received May 22, 9.30 a.m.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

Nothing of importance to-night. Our cavalry encountered Ashby's men near Woodstock this p.m., driving them into town, and killing 4, capturing 6. No loss reported on our side. Prisoners report that Jackson's train was arriving at Harrisonburg yesterday from the west.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SHENANDOAH,
Strasburg, Va., May 22, 1862.

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

       SIR: The return of the rebel forces of General Jackson to the valley, after his forced march against Generals Milroy and Schenck, increases my anxiety for the safety of the position I occupy and that of the troops under my command. That he has returned there can be no doubt. We have information direct from the people of the neighborhood, from prisoners that we have captured from him, from deserters, and also from General Frémont, who telegraphs his march in this direction.
       From all the information I can gather--and I do not wish to excite alarm unnecessarily--I am compelled to believe that he meditates attack here. I regard it as certain that he will move north as far as New Market, a position which commands the mountain gap and the roads into the Department of the Rappahannock, and enables him also to co-operate with General Ewell, who is still at Swift Run Gap.
       Once at New Market, they are within 25 miles of Strasburg, with a force of not less than 16,000 men. My available force is between 4,000 and 5,000 infantry, 1,800 cavalry, and sixteen pieces of artillery.
       We are compelled to defend at two points, both equally accessible to the enemy--the Shenandoah Valley road, opening near the railway bridges, and the turnpike.
       We are preparing defenses as rapidly as possible, but with the best aid of this character my force is insufficient to meet the enemy in such strength as he will certainly come, if he attacks us at all, and our situation certainly invites attack in the strongest manner.
       We greatly need heavier artillery for the fortification constructing in the town. A battery of 20-pounder Parrott guns will only place us on a level with the guns of the enemy. My infantry should be increased, if possible, both for defense of the town and the protection of the railway and bridges. To guard the railway well it is indispensable that Chester Gap should be occupied, but I have not sufficient force for this. There are two advanced points in front of the railway which should be held by our troops--one at Orleans, in front of Rectortown, General Geary's present position; the other at Chester Gap. These temporarily occupied by a respectable force, say two regiments each, the neighborhood would soon be cleared of guerrillas and scouting parties and the perfect safety of the road secured. At present our danger is imminent at both the line of the road and the position of Strasburg. Our line is greatly extended; the positions and property to be protected of vital importance, and the enemy is in our immediate neighborhood in very great superiority of numbers.
       To these important considerations ought to be added the persistent adherence of Jackson to the defense of the valley and his well-known purpose to expel the Government troops from this country if in his power. This may be assumed as certain. There is probably no one more fixed and determined purpose in the whole circle of the enemy's plans. Upon anything like equal ground his purposes will be defeated.
       I have forborne until the last moment to make this representation, well knowing how injurious to the public service unfounded alarms become, but in this case the probabilities of danger are so great, that it should be assumed as positive and preparation made to meet it.
       Col. John S. Clark, one of my aides-de-camp, knows well the position and purposes of the enemy, and can give you all the information the Department may require.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,
N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


STRASBURG, May 23, 1862.

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
(Copies to Fr6mont and McDowell.)

       (Received 11 p.m.) Our troops were attacked at Front Royal this afternoon, and, though making a vigorous resistance, were compelled by superiority of numbers to retire toward Middletown. The rebel force is reported at 5,000. and is said to intend advancing on the Middletown road. No definite information has yet been received, the telegraph line having been early destroyed. The force had been gathering in the mountains, it is said, since Wednesday. Re-enforcements should be sent us if possible. Railway communication with Manassas probably broken up. A lieutenant of Captain Best's battery, name not reported, was shot by guerrillas this afternoon. Have requested Colonel Miles to move his available force toward Winchester.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


STRASBURG, May 23, 1862.
(Received 12 o'clock.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON.

       The following dispatch has just been received:

WINCHESTER, 23d.

       Colonel Kenly is killed. Lieutenant-colonel, adjutant, and all the rest of commanding officers First Maryland Regiment taken prisoners. Regiment cut all to pieces and prisoners; First Michigan Cavalry ditto. The enemy's forces are 15,000 or 20,000 strong, and on the march to Strasburg. If you want me to report in person telegraph to Captain Flagg.

SAVILLE,
Commanding Company B, First Maryland Regiment.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


STRASBURG, May 24, 1862.
(Received
2.4 a.m.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON.

       Captain Saville, of the Maryland regiment, whose dispatch I forwarded, has been interrogated by General Crawford in regard to his dispatch, an I reaffirms all its essential details as within his own observation. I deem it much overestimated, but the enemy's force is undoubtedly very large and their possession of Front Royal complete.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


WAR DEPARTMENT,May 24, 1862--2.6 a.m.

Maj. Gen. N. P. BANKS, Strasburg:

       Arrangements are making to send you ample re-enforcements. Do not give up the ship before succor can arrive. Your dispatches have been forwarded to General Geary.

P. H. WATSON,
Assistant Secretary of War.


WAR DEPARTMENT, May 24, 1862.

Major-General BANKS:

       General Dix has been ordered to forward all the force he can spare to you immediately and other force will be sent from here. Please report the present condition of things.

EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.


STRASBURG, May 24, 1862.

Hon. E. M. STANTON.

       (Received 7.5 a.m.) Colonel Kenly's command of infantry and cavalry has been driven from Front Royal, with considerable loss in killed, wounded, and prisoners. The enemy's force estimated at 5,000 or 6,000. It is reported as fallen back on Front Royal; probably occupies that place this morning.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


STRASBURG. May 24, 1862.

Hon. E. M. STANTON

       (Received 7.10 a.m.) Cannot give details this morning of our loss. The force of the enemy was very large; not less than 6,000 to 10,000. It is probably Ewell's force, passing through Shenandoah Valley. Jackson is still in our front. We have sent our stores to the rear, but troops remain here. Thanks for the re-enforcements. Enemy's cavalry reported on the Winchester road this morning by our scouts.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


STRASBURG, VA., May 24, 1862---7.15 a.m.

P. H. WATSON,
Assistant Secretary of War.

       (Received 9.45 a.m.) Thanks for dispatch. We shall stand firm. Enemy is undoubtedly in strong force. Reported on the road to Winchester this morning, in strength from 6,000 to 10,000.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


WINCHESTER, May 24, 1862-8 p.m.

The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
(Same to General Frémont.)

       (Received 9.45 p.m.) I was satisfied by the affair at Front Royal yesterday that I could not hold Strasburg with my force against Jackson's and Ewell's armies, who I believed intended immediate attack. Though I might have saved my command, it would have been impossible to secure the vast stores and extensive trains accumulated there, and, learning from a variety of sources entitled to belief that Ewell intended to put his force between Strasburg and Winchester in order to cut off retreat and prevent re-enforcements, I concluded that the safest course for my command was to anticipate the enemy in the occupation of Winchester. My advance guard entered this town at 5 this evening, with all our trains and stores in safety. A strong attack was made upon our trains at Middletown by rebel cavalry, artillery, and infantry, but it was repulsed by our troops, and the few wagons abandoned by teamsters nearly all recovered. I learn here that the pickets of the enemy were within 5 miles of the town this morning, on the Front Royal road. I shall return to Strasburg with my command immediately. I learn from a prisoner taken to-day, who was at the engagement at Front Royal yesterday, that Colonel Kenly was wounded only and not killed.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


WAR DEPARTMENT,
May 24, 1862.

Major-General BANKS, Winchester:

       In your dispatch of this evening to the President you say that you intend to return with your command to Strasburg. The question is suggested whether you will not by that movement expose your stores and trains at Winchester. The President desires therefore more detailed information than you have yet furnished respecting the force and position of the enemy in your neighborhood before you make a movement that will subject Winchester or Harper's Ferry to danger from sudden attack. You will please report fully before moving.

EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.


WINCHESTER, May 24, 1862.
(Received 11.50 p.m.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON.

       I am persuaded that a large force of the enemy occupied positions to-day between Strasburg and Winchester, but had not time to co-operate. The city is full of rumors as to the movements of the enemy, and apprehensions of attack to-morrow are entertained by many. Colonel Miles telegraphs that a rebel party of 60 attacked Colonel Beal's baggage tram this afternoon at Berryville, killing 1 and wounding 3.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


WAR DEPARTMENT,
May 24, 1862.

Major-General BANKS, Winchester :

       Your movement is regarded by the President as wise and prudent. We have felt deeply concerned for your safety, and have used every exertion to send you re-enforcements. General Frémont has been directed to operate against the enemy in the direction of Harrisonburg. Three regiments have been ordered from Baltimore to Harper's Ferry and Winchester and one regiment left here this evening; another goes to-night for Winchester by way of Harper's Ferry. Geary has fallen back to White Plains. Duryea has sent one regiment to Geary, and will send another immediately. I have ordered General King, formerly of your command, to report to you, if you need him. You may assign him a command or not at your pleasure. Please report particulars of the affair at Front Royal yesterday and what our loss is. Report frequently your condition and operations. If Frémont acts promptly with you the enemy's force ought not to escape.

EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.


HEADQUARTERS,
Martinsburg, May 25, 1862---2.40 p.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

The rebels attacked us this morning at daybreak in great force. Their number was estimated at 15,000, consisting of Ewell's and Jackson's divisions. The fire of pickets began with light; was followed by the artillery, until the lines were fully under fire on both sides. The left wing stood firmly, holding its ground well, and the right did the same for a time, when two regiments broke the line under the fire of the enemy. The right wing fell back. They were ordered to withdraw, and the troops pressed through the town in considerable confusion. They were quickly reformed on the other side, and continued their march in good order to Martinsburg, where they arrived at 2.40 p.m., a distance of 22 miles. Our trains are in advance, and will cross the river in safety. Our entire force engaged was less than 4,000, consisting of Gordon's and Donnelly's brigades, with two regiments of cavalry under General Hatch, and two batteries artillery. Our loss is considerable, as was that of the enemy, but cannot now be stated. We were re-enforced by Tenth Maine, which did good service, and a regiment of cavalry.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding


HEADQUARTERS, BEYOND MARTINSBURG, VA.,
May 25, 1862--5.30 p.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

       All communication is cut off. We know not what has occurred at Harper's Ferry, &c. A prisoner captured this p.m. says the rebel force in our rear is to be strengthened; that their purpose is to enter Maryland at two points--Harper's Ferry and Williamsport. He confirms all we have heard in regard to the rebel force here. We all pass the Potomac to-night safe--men, trains, and all, I think--making a march of 35 miles.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


WAR DEPARTMENT, May 25, 1862.

General BANKS,
Williamsport, via Hagerstown :

       Two of your telegrams have been received. They have greatly relieved our anxiety respecting your command. We hope you are by this time entirely safe. Your gallantry and skill and the valiant bravery of your command are deserving of great praise. General Saxton is at Harper's Ferry, with over 3,000 to 5,000 men. We have sent a large force of artillery to that point, which will reach there by daylight. Please report again as soon as possible.

EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.


WILLIAMSPORT,May 26, 1862.
(Received 9 a.m.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

       We believe that our whole force, trains and all, will cross in safety. The men are in fine spirits and crossing in good order. The labor of last night was fearful. The enemy followed us last night on the march, but has not made his appearance this morning. The news of your movements South has unquestionably caused them to look for their safety. Your dispatch was read to the troops this morning amid the heartiest cheers.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


WAR DEPARTMENT,
May 26, 1862.

Major-General BANKS, Williamsport:

       Your telegram this morning received. We rejoice greatly at your safety. Do you need any ammunition to enable you to dispute the enemy's crossing the river, or anything else?

EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.


WILLIAMSPORT, May 26, 1862.
(Received 2.20 p.m.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

       The enemy driving in our pickets across the river. Everything of importance safe--guns, ordnance trains, and nearly all the trains.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


WILLIAMSPORT, May 26, 1862 -- 4 p.m.

The PRESIDENT.

       (Received 10.6 p.m.) I have the honor to report the safe arrival of command at this place last evening at 10 o'clock and the passage of the Fifth Corps across the river to-day with comparatively but little loss. The loss of men killed, wounded, and missing in the different combats in which my command has participated since the march from Strasburg on the morning of the 24th instant I am unable now to report, but I have great gratification in being able to represent it, although serious, as much less than might have been anticipated, considering the very great disparity of forces engaged and the long-matured plans of the enemy, which aimed at nothing less than entire capture of our force. A detailed statement will be forwarded as soon as possible. My command encountered the enemy in a constant succession of attacks and at well-contested engagements at Strasburg, Middletown, Newtown, at a point also between these places, and at Winchester. The force of the enemy was estimated at from 15,000 to 20,000 men, with very strong artillery and cavalry supports. My own force consisted of two brigades, less than 4,000 strong, all told, 1,500 cavalry, ten Parrott guns, and six smooth-bores. The substantial preservation of the entire supply is a source of gratification. It numbered about 500 wagons, on a forced march of 53 miles, 35 of which were performed in one day, subject to constant attack in front, rear, and flank, according to its position, by enemy in full force. By the panics of teamsters and the mischances of river passage of more than 300 yards, with slender preparations for ford and ferry, it lost not more than 50 wagons. A full statement of this loss will be forwarded forthwith. Very great commendation is due to Capt. S. B. Holabird, assistant quartermaster, and Capt. E.G. Beck with for the safety of the train. Our troops are in good spirits and occupy both sides of the river.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding


MAY 26, 1862-- 8.20 p.m.
(Received May 27, 2.35 a.m.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON

       The enemy's pickets have been in our front, and some skirmishing, but not in any force, between this and Martinsburg. I do not think there is any great force there. Shall test it to-morrow. Our troops supposed to have been cut off by enemy are coming in considerable numbers; some by Sharpsburg, others by Hancock. Trains all across river. Everything quiet. Enemy alarmed; has withdrawn, I think.

N. P. BANKS.


WILLIAMSPORT, May 27, 1862--9 p.m.
(Received May 28, 1.15 a.m.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON.

A detachment of cavalry advanced to-day within a few miles of Martinsburg. Two regiments of the enemy's cavalry and some infantry are in position on the right of the town. A prisoner captured near the town states that a part of Ashby's command left Martinsburg this morning in the direction of Winchester. My reports will be forwarded as soon as the necessary statements can be obtained.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


WASHINGTON, May 28, 1862---12.45 p.m.

Major-General BANKS,
Williamsport:

       You will get your force in order for moving speedily as possible, and establish your communication with General Saxton with a view to reoccupying your former lines. Can you not occupy Martinsburg at once? General Shields is moving forward from Manassas to Front Royal, thence to Strasburg. In order to enable General Saxton to move, you will send him a part of your transportation. He has none, and it cannot be sent from here in time.

EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

Please acknowledge the receipt of this and the hour it is received.


WILLIAMSPORT, May 28, 1862---1 p.m.
(Received 3.40 p.m.)

LORENZO THOMAS,
Adjutant-General.
(Copy to McDowell and Frémont.)

Colonel Pinkney, in command on the other side of the river, reports that they constantly heard the sound of cars running west from Martinsburg during last night. I have no doubt this is a delusion. It constantly occurred last summer on the Potomac. There is something in the night sounds which encourages this idea. I do not credit the report, but think you should be informed of it, as the Department may explain it from other information. I regret to see these reports published with my name, as it presents me to the country as an alarmist, when in truth I am almost incredulous as to them.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


WILLIAMSPORT, May 28, 1862---2.35 p.m.
(Received 4.50 p.m.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

       A prisoner captured near Martinsburg this morning by our troops reports that about 2,000 of the enemy were there yesterday. Ashby's <ar15_532> force artillery, and baggage he met upon the road to Winchester yesterday morning. It was understood among the men that Ashby had been ordered to Berryville, on account of forces said to be advancing upon Winchester. The prisoner is intelligent, and seems to be perfectly honest. Our advance is near Martinsburg, and a force also at Falling Waters. My troops are not yet in condition to march.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


WILLIAMSPORT, May 28, 1862.
(Received 3.46 p.m.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

       Your dispatch received 1.40 p.m. Orders were issued yesterday to put my command in condition to march. My troops are much disabled and scattered, but will be in good condition in a day more. We are near Martinsburg, and will occupy it as soon as possible. Transportation shall be sent to General Saxton immediately.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


WILLIAMSPORT, May 28, 1862--4.35 p.m.
(Received 6.20 p.m.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

       A skirmish took place this morning between the rebels and Tenth Maine near Falling Waters, 8 miles in front. No one was injured. I have just received information that 4,000 of the enemy are advancing on Falling Waters. It is expected they will make an attack. They have five pieces of artillery.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


WILLIAMSPORT, May 28, 1862--8.20 p.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON.

       (Received 11.35 p.m.) Have received information to-day which I think should be transmitted, but not published over my name, as I do not credit it altogether. A merchant from Martinsburg, well known, came to inform me that in a confidential conversation with a very prominent secessionist, also merchant of that town, he was informed that the policy of the South was changed; that they would abandon Richmond, Va., everything South, and invade Maryland and Washington; that every Union soldier would be driven out of the valley immediately. This was on Friday evening, the night of attack on Front Royal. Names are given me, and the party talking one who might know the rebel plans. A prisoner was captured near Martinsburg to-day. He told the truth, I am satisfied, so far as he pretended to know. He was in the fight at Front Royal <ar15_533> and passed through Winchester two hours after our engagement. Saw the dead carried away. He says the rebel force was very large--not less than 25,000 at Winchester and 6,000 or 7,000 at Front Royal; that the idea was general among the men that they were to invade Mary-laud. He passed Ashby yesterday, who had twenty-eight companies of cavalry under his command; was returning from Martinsburg, and moving under orders, his men said, to Berryville. There were 2,000 rebels at Martinsburg when he passed that town yesterday. These reports came to me at the same time I received General Saxton's dispatch and the statement from my own officer that 4,000 rebels were near Falling Waters, in my front.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


WILLIAMSPORT, May 29, 1862.

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War,

       Everything is quiet this morning. The Signal Corps reports a camp of one company in the vicinity of Back Creek; no evidence of enemy elsewhere in that direction. Sixty to one hundred wagons were sent to General Saxton to-day.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


WASHINGTON, May 29, 1862--12 m.

Major-General BANKS,
Williamsport, Md. :

       General McDowell's advance should and probably will be at or near Front Royal at 12 (noon)tomorrow. General Frémont will be at or near Strasburg as soon. Please watch the enemy closely, and follow and harass and detain him if he attempts to retire. I mean this for General Saxton's force as well as that immediately will you.

A. LINCOLN.


WILLIAMSPORT, May 29, 1862--2.30 p.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON:
(Copy to McDowell.)

       Information from the front 11.30 a.m. is that enemy is drawing in his pickets to Martinsburg.

N. P. BANKS.


WILLIAMSPORT, May 29, 1862.

PRESIDENT.

       Your dispatch received at headquarters 3.30 p.m. My command is much disabled, but we will do what we can to carry out your views.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


WILLIAMSPORT, May 29, 1862--10 p.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

       (Received midnight.) No advance has been made by the enemy's pickets to-day. Information direct from Martinsburg to-day assures me that he is withdrawing. 1 shall put all my available forces on the move in the morning. Regiments all greatly disabled from a great variety of causes.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General.


WILLIAMSPORT, May 29, 1862--10.15 p.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON.

Affairs are more quiet. The rumors of the approach of the enemy at Falling Waters and the extent of his force prove to be unfounded. Every one feels assured of the strength of our positions. Signal officers fail to discover from commanding points any traces of the enemy's camp, and the latest reports from our front indicate his gradual withdrawal.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


WAR DEPARTMENT, May 29, 1862---11.30 p.m.

Major-General BANKS:

       A dispatch just received (11 p.m.) from Assistant Secretary Watson at Harper's Ferry states that Jackson with his forces was near there at sundown, plainly contemplating an attack.

EDWIN M. STANTON.


WILLIAMSPORT, May 30, 1862.

His Excellency the PRESIDENT.

       (Received 2.35 a.m.) Information received from General Saxton at Harper's Ferry which renders it necessary for me to move to his assistance rather than in the direction of Martinsburg.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General.


WILLIAMSPORT, May 29, 1862.
(Received 30th, 3.25.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON.

Your dispatch received. Have sent force to Sharpsburg upon same information from General Saxton.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


WASHINGTON, May 30, 1862--10.15 a.m.

Major-General BANKS,
Williamsport, Md., via Harper's Ferry:

       If the enemy in force is in or about Martinsburg, Charlestown, and Winchester, or any or all of them, he may come in collision with Frémont, in which case I am anxious that your force, with you and at Harper's Ferry, should so operate as to assist Frémont if possible; the same if the enemy should engage McDowell. This was the meaning of my dispatch yesterday.

A. LINCOLN.


WILLIAMSPORT, May 30, 1862.

The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

       (Received 4.45 p.m.) Your communication received. Have sent part of our force to Antietam Ford, near Shepherdstown. Will do all we can to harass the enemy's rear. No indication of enemy this side of Martinsburg, and we believe no considerable force there.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


WILLIAMSPORT, May 31, 1862--10.25 a.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

       My advance troops, Fifth New York Cavalry, Colonel De Forest commanding, entered Martinsburg this morning, and passed several miles beyond, where they encountered the enemy's cavalry. They captured several prisoners, a wagon, muskets, ammunition, and an American flag. There does not appear to be a large force in that neighborhood. My command, I regret to say, is not in condition to move with promptitude to any great distance, but everything that can be done will be to press and harass the enemy. Colonel De Forest reports that Colonel Kenly is at Winchester, wounded. My troops are yet much scattered, and want army blankets and cooking utensils, that are required for any movement. We shall move into Martinsburg a larger force today.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


WILLIAMSPORT, May 31, 1862.

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

       (Received 11.40 p.m.) We have no report from our forces at Martinsburg to-night. It is quite possible that the demonstration of the rebels against Harper's Ferry is to cover their retreat. They operate between Charlestown and Berryville. Berryville, which they occupied early in our movement, covers Snicker's Ferry. This will take them east of the Blue Ridge. They are probably preparing means of crossing at that point. All their fury and numbers are well spent at Harper's Ferry for that purpose.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SHENANDOAH,
[May 31, 1862.]

E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

       SIR: In pursuance of orders from the War Department, Col. John R. Kenly, commanding First Maryland Volunteers, was sent on the 16th day of May from Strasburg to Front Royal, with instructions to relieve the troops under Major Tyndale, attached to General Geary's command, and to protect the town of Front Royal and the railway and bridges between that town and Strasburg. The force under his command consisted of his own regiment (775 available men), two companies from the Twenty-ninth Pennsylvania Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Par-ham commanding ; the Pioneer Corps, Captain Mapes, engaged in reconstructing the bridges; a portion of the Fifth New York Cavalry, and a section of Knap's battery, Lieutenant Atwell commanding. Nearer to the town of Strasburg were three companies of infantry, charged with the same duty. This force was intended as a guard for the protection of the town and railway against local guerrilla parties that infested that locality, and replaced two companies of infantry with cavalry and artillery, which had occupied the town for some weeks, under Major Tyndale, Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers, for the same purpose. It had never been contemplated as a defense against the combined forces of the enemy in the valley of Virginia.
       Front Royal is in itself an indefensible position. Two mountain valleys debouch suddenly upon the town from the south, commanding it by almost inaccessible hills, and it is at the same time exposed to flank movements by other mountain valleys via Strasburg on the west and Chester Gap on the east.
       The only practicable defense of this town would be by a force sufficiently strong to hold these mountain passes some miles in advance. Such forces were not at my disposal, and no such expectations were entertained from the slender command of Colonel Kenly. It was a guerrilla force, and not an organized and well-appointed army that he was prepared to meet.
       On the 23d of May it was discovered that the whole force of the enemy was in movement down the valley of the Shenandoah, between the Massanutten Mountain and the Blue Ridge and in close proximity to the town. Their cavalry had captured a considerable number of our pickets before the alarm was given. The little band which was charged with the protection of the railway and bridges found itself instantaneously compelled to choose between an immediate retreat or a contest with the enemy against overwhelming numbers. Colonel Kenly was not the man to avoid a contest at whatever odds. He immediately drew up his troops in the order he had contemplated in case of attack of less importance. The disposition of his forces had been wisely made to resist a force equal to his own, and the best, perhaps, that could have been devised in his more pressing emergency.
       About 1 o'clock p.m. the alarm was given that the enemy was advancing on the town in force. The infantry companies were drawn up in line of battle about one-half mile in the rear of the town. Five companies were detailed to support the artillery, which was placed on the crest of a hill commanding a meadow of some extent, over which the enemy must pass to reach the bridges, one company guarding the regimental camp nearer to the river, on the right of the line. The companies, three in number, left to guard the town were soon compelled to fall back upon the main force. There were then four companies on the right of the battery, near the camp, under Lieutenant-Colonel Dushane, and five companies on the left, under Colonel Kenly. The battery, Lieutenant Atwell commanding, opened fire upon the enemy, advancing from the hills on the right and left, well supported by the infantry, doing much damage. A detachment of the Fifth New York Cavalry was ordered to advance upon the road, which was attempted, but did not succeed. They held this position for an hour, when they were compelled to retreat across the river, which was done in good order, their camp and stores having been first destroyed.
       On the opposite shore their lines were again formed, and the battery in position opened its fire upon the enemy while fording the river. They were again ordered to move left in front on the Winchester road, and had proceeded about 2 miles when they were overtaken by the enemy's cavalry, and a fearful fight ensued, which ended in the complete destruction of this command.
       Colonel Kenly, in the front of his column, was wounded in this action. The train and one gun was captured. One gun was brought within 5 miles of Winchester, and abandoned by Lieutenant Atwell only when his horses were broken down.
       The enemy's force is estimated at 8,000. The fighting was mostly done by the cavalry on the side of the rebels, with active support from the infantry and artillery. Our own force did not exceed 900 men. They held their ground manfully, yielding only to the irresistible power of overwhelming numbers.
       Prisoners captured since the affair represent that our troops fought with great valor and that the losses of the enemy were large.
       It is impossible at this time to give detailed accounts of our losses. Reports from the officers of the re-merit represent that but 8 commissioned officers and 120 men have reported. Of these officers 5 were in the engagement, 2 absent on detached service, and 1 on furlough.
       All the regimental officers were captured. Colonel Kenly, who was represented to have been killed, is now understood to be a prisoner. He is severely wounded.
       Lieutenant Atwell reports that of 38 men attached to his battery but 12 have reported. The cavalry was more fortunate, and suffered comparatively little loss. Undoubtedly large numbers of the command will yet return, but it is impossible to speculate upon the number.
       I have the honor to ask attention to the reports of the remaining officers of the First Maryland Regiment, who participated in the engage-merit, giving their account of the same, and that of Lieutenant Atwell, commanding the battery.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding, &c.


JUNE 1, 1862---8.30 a.m.

Major General BANKS, Williamsport:
Brigadier-General SAXTON, Harper's Ferry:

       Are you in condition to harass the enemy, who will be hard pressed today by McDowell and Frémont?

EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.


WAR DEPARTMENT,
Washington, June 1, 1862.

Maj. Gen. N. P. BANKS,
Williamsport, Md. :

       Jackson reported to be pressing as conscripts, to bear the arms abandoned by your command, all male inhabitants of the valley capable of bearing arms. Direct your quartermaster and ordnance officer to report immediately by telegraph, as nearly as they can, the number of guns, small-arms, accouterments, ammunition, clothing, horse equipments, and other supplies that you lost, that an estimate may be formed of the extent to which Jackson has the means of augmenting his forces, as he can obtain all the men he can arm and equip.

EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.


WILLIAMSPORT, June 1, 1862.

Hon. E. M. STANTON.

       Not to exceed 1,000 stand of small-arms. Of the arms and equipments at Front Royal we have not been advised. Will send detailed statement soon.

N. P. BANKS.


WASHINGTON, June 1, 1862.

Major-General BANKS, Williamsport:

       Major-General Sigel has been assigned to command of the troops at Harper's Ferry, numbering about 10,000, and directed to report to you. That force has been added to your command, and it will receive further additions. Immediately on his arrival at Harper's Ferry, for which place he will start this evening, the President desires you to assume actively the offensive against the retreating enemy without the loss of an hour. You will please communicate with General Sigel speedily as possible. You will of course see that Harper's Ferry is left secure.

EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.


WILLIAMSPORT, June 1, 1862--1 p.m.
(Received 3.40 p.m.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON.

       Have heard nothing of Frémont. The enemy reported in full retreat from Harper's Ferry.

N. P. BANKS.


WILLIAMSPORT, June 1, 1862--10.25 p.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON.

       Our troops are in occupation of Martinsburg, but report no traces of the enemy. We have no news from Frémont. Dispatches from Harper's Ferry state that Jackson retreated in the direction of Winchester. I shall move forward to Martinsburg as soon as possible.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


WILLIAMSPORT, June 1, 1862---10.30 p.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON.

       Report from Martinsburg, 6 p.m., just received. Our troops have advanced on Charlestown and Winchester pikes and pickets posted on all roads leading from Martinsburg, but no trace of enemy found. Cavalry has orders to push on and find enemy if possible.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


WILLIAMSPORT, June 2, 1862---6 a.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

       Your dispatch received 3.30. General Sigel reported his arrival at Harper's Ferry this morning. Have directed him to move troops forward toward Charlestown, and will join him this morning at Harper's Ferry.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


WILLIAMSPORT, June 2, 1862--10 p.m.
(Received June 3, 8.45 a.m.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON.

       Our advance troops are near Winchester and several regiments near Martinsburg. It is with great difficulty that they are got ready for marching orders. I hope to-morrow they will all be on the move. Several officers captured at Winchester returned to-night. They represent that the rebels evacuated the town Friday last.

N. P. BANKS.


MARTINSBURG, June 3, 1862.

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

       General Sigel, with 6,000, and Crawford's brigade, Williams' division, 3,000, will be in Winchester to-morrow. There is [no?] positive news of Jackson. Message received from McDowell at Front Royal says he believes Frémont is at Strasburg. The river is very high at Williamsport, and crossing is very slow.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


MARTINSBURG, June 4, 1862--9 a.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

       (Received 10.54 a.m.) The trains will run over the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad to-morrow night. The telegraph is open east and west to Cumberland. The river is very high, and my last brigade will cross very slowly. Still raining heavily. Damage to bridge is not great.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


MARTINSBURG, June 4, 1862--9 a.m.
(Received 11 a.m.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

       The best information I can get shows that Jackson left Winchester about 11 a.m. Friday, his train in front. He encountered Frémont's advance near Cedar Creek, which he held in check on Saturday until his troops passed up the valley. His rear guard then took a position upon a hill 2 miles beyond Strasburg, which he held Sunday and Monday. The cannonading there is described as terrific by the people. The last heard of him was that he was at New Market. His entire force is represented as near 40,000 by the people of Winchester.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


WINCHESTER, June 5, 1862.

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

       (Received June 6, 10.50 a.m.) From report of an eye-witness to the retreat of Jackson, being at Strasburg, Jackson reached Strasburg Friday evening late. Frémont arrived within 5 miles of Strasburg some time unknown to Jackson, via Moorefield, Wardensville, and over the mountain by the Hardy grade. A rebel scout in that direction discovered him, showed themselves in two or three places, and then sent a young lad to Frémont's force to say that Jackson was there with his artillery, infantry, &c. This delayed the advance some time. In the mean time Jackson fell back to near Rude's Hill, 5 miles above Strasburg. Fighting began Sunday 1st, a.m., and continued Sunday and Monday all day, with very sharp musketry discharges. Many of our prisoners escaped at Mount Jackson. Frémont's pursuit close and Jackson himself much excited. Tuesday morning Jackson at New Market; last at Harrisonburg. Secessionists say Frémont occupied Rude's Hill and Jackson cut through. This is not true.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


WINCHESTER, June 5, 1862--11 a.m.
(Received June 6, 11 a.m.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

       The river is yet impassable for men, horses, or wagons; but one brigade of Williams' division is on this side. Supplies are short, but I have ordered the town to be thoroughly searched for stores secreted by Jackson's army. General Sigel's command cannot move for some days. It will be three days before the balance of troops can cross the river and reach this point. Still raining. Have not heard from bridge at Harper's Ferry. Winchester Railroad disabled.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


WINCHESTER, June 6, 1862,
Via Harper's Ferry, June 7, 1862.

Hon. E. M. STANTON.

       River is falling, and our trains and troops will be over by tomorrow night. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad will be in operation by Monday; the Winchester road in two or three days at least. We can then send supplies to Frémont. No news from the valley of importance.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Washington, June 8, 1862.

Major-General BANKS,
Comdg. Dept. of the Shenandoah, Winchester, Va.:

       Send immediately to Front Royal a force to relieve the troops now there under General McDowell.

L. THOMAS,
Adjutant-General.


WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJT. GEN.'S OFFICE,
Washington, June
8, 1862.

Maj. Gen. N. P. BANKS,
U. S. Volunteers, Winchester, Va.

       GENERAL: I inclose herewith for your information a manuscript copy of General Orders, No. 62.
       Instructions have been given to Major-General Frémont to take position with his main force at or near Harrisonburg, to guard against any operations of the enemy down the valley of the Shenandoah.
       The Secretary of War directs that you take position in force at or near Front Royal, on the right or left bank of the Shenandoah, with an advance on Luray or other points in supporting distance of General Frémont; also that you occupy with sufficient detachments the former positions of Brigadier-General Geary on the line of the Manassas Gap Railroad as far as the Manassas Junction.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
L. THOMAS,
Adjutant-General.

[Inclosure.]

GENERAL ORDERS No. 62.

WAR DEPT., ADJT. GEN.'S OFFICE,
Washington, June 8, 1862.

I. The Department of the Mississippi is extended so as to include the <ar15_542> whole of the States of Tennessee and Kentucky. All officers on duty in those States will report to Major-General Halleck.

II. The Mountain Department is extended eastward to the road running from Williamsport to Martinsburg, Winchester, Strasburg, Harrisonburg, and Staunton, including that place; thence in the same direction southward until it reaches the Blue Ridge chain of mountains; thence with the line of the Blue Ridge to the southern boundary of the State of Virginia.

III. The Department of the Shenandoah is extended eastward to include the Piedmont district and the Bull Mountain range.

By order of the Secretary of War:
L. THOMAS,
Adjutant-General.


WINCHESTER, June 8, 1862--9 p.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

       Our train is now across the river at Williamsport, another ferry having been constructed. There is an unaccountable delay in forwarding the equipments and clothing needed, but I hope the division will be here by Wednesday. General Sigel's command is not yet ready to move, but will be in a few days. Every possible effort is making to compensate for loss of time occasioned by the rise of the river.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


WASHINGTON, June 9, 1862.

Major-General BANKS, Winchester:

       We are arranging a general plan for the valley of the Shenandoah, and in accordance with this you will move your main force to the Shenandoah at or opposite Front Royal as soon as possible.

A. LINCOLN.


WINCHESTER, VA., June 9, 1862--10 p.m.

General THOMAS, Adjutant-General:

       Your dispatches received this morning. I will send a force to Front Royal immediately.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


WINCHESTER, June 9, 1862.--10.50 p.m.

SECRETARY OF WAR.

       Two regiments, with a battery and cavalry, moved this morning for Front Royal. The rest of the brigade arrived here to-night and will move on to-morrow. General Williams' Third Brigade has crossed the river and will reach this place Wednesday. General Sigel's command will be able to march in a few days. As soon as possible the President's order shall be carried out. Our supplies, clothing, and equipments have been unaccountably delayed.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


WINCHESTER, June 10, 1862--11 a.m.
(Received 8.20 p.m.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

       A deserter from New Orleans Zouaves, Richmond, ten days since, reports removal of large quantities of stores to Lynchburg. Common rumor among soldiers makes rebel force in and near Richmond 200,000. Came by Lynchburg, Gordonsville, Madison Court-House, and Eden-burg. No rebel forces seen or heard of en route. At Lynchburg sick and prisoners, but few troops.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General.


HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE SHENANDOAH,
Winchester, Va., June 12, 1862--1.30 a.m. (Received 8.35 a.m.)

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
(Copy to McDowell.)

       General Frémont's chief of staff reports that they have beaten Jackson in two engagements and that Shields has been beaten on the opposite side of the river. Jackson has been re-enforced to the number of 30,000 or 35,000 men, including Smith's and Longstreet's divisions, in consequence of which he is falling back to Harrisonburg, on his way to Mount Jackson, where he desires my command to join him. General Sigel's division is in front of Winchester, at Kernstown--6,000 effective men, with ten pieces of artillery. The First Brigade, Williams' division, is on the Shenandoah, opposite Front Royal, and the Third Brigade will be in Winchester to-morrow; total, with cavalry, 6,000 men and twelve serviceable guns. In my opinion Mount Jackson is no place to meet the enemy. Middletown is a point which commands the opening of the three mountain valleys, and either Middletown or Winchester is the place to meet Jackson if he returns to this valley. My opinion is that Frémont should fall back to this line, and I have so suggested to him, in order to keep the enemy from his rear. If we are compelled to meet the enemy here, more artillery and more troops should be sent, if possible. We expect return of messenger in the morning with further advices, and will communicate.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


WINCHESTER, June 12, 1862--10.40 a.m.

General LORENZO THOMAS,
Adjutant-General.

       Your dispatches by Lieutenant Claassen just received. The condition of affairs has suddenly changed. Frémont is moving to the rear, and calls upon me to support him at Mount Jackson. This from himself. His chief of staff, in dispatch received at 2 o'clock, confirms this, and states that Jackson has been re-enforced by Smith and Longstreet to the extent of 30,000 to 35,000 men to repeat his invasion of the valley. I believe this to be true. It is confirmed by rumors received from all quarters. I repeat it, that the Department may judge the course to <ar15_544> be adopted. My troops will be well posted, so as to carry out instructions or to meet an advancing enemy. We need more artillery and re-enforcements if possible. Expect further advices hourly, and will forward information.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


WINCHESTER,June 12, 1862--10.45 a.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

       Dispatch of this morning, 1 o'clock, confirmed by subsequent reports. General Crawford reports two brigades at Front Royal instructed to leave when two of our brigades relieve them. In the changed aspect of affairs I think they should remain until instructed by you, and have so suggested to General Ricketts, in command. If the enemy attacks it will be immediate. Dispatches passed through town from General Frémont, which doubtless inform you fully. I will place my command so as to comply instantly with your instruction received to-day from Adjutant-General, or meet the enemy if he advances.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


WINCHESTER,
June 12, 1862-2 p.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

       Our messenger just returned from headquarters. General Frémont confirms all essential statements of my dispatch this morning. General Greene's brigade is here.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


WASHINGTON. June 12, 1862--10.40 p.m.

Major-General BANKS, Winchester:

       Your telegram has just been received. It is not believed to be possible that Jackson has any such re-enforcements as 30,000 or 35,000. McClellan says that two regiments were sent from Richmond to Jackson. What can be the necessity of your falling back before Frémont reaches you? If you abandon Front Royal and your present position, do you not afford a gap for Jackson to pass through as before? The President directs that you hold your positions until further developments.

EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.


HEADQUARTERS,
Winchester, June 12, 1862.

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.

       My dispatch has been evidently misunderstood by you. I have never thought of falling back, but am exerting all my power to advance my command night and day to the post assigned me by the President, and have been greatly distressed at the unaccountable delay in getting clothing and equipments, and at the state of the river, which has made crossing impossible, My dispatch related to Frémont's falling back, and expressed the opinion that Mount Jackson is not the best place to meet the enemy in the force represented. I am glad to believe the strength of the enemy exaggerated. We shall not fall back an inch. Telegraph now open to Winchester.

N. P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


WINCHESTER, VA., June 13, 1862--12.45 p.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
(Copy to McDowell.)

       The First Brigade, Williams' division, is on Shenandoah, opposite Front Royal. The Second, General Greene, at Newtown, in supporting distance. General Sigel's division is advanced to Kernstown, to move forward if necessary. They wait only for blankets and equipments to be up to-day and will advance. The river is impassable for troops to Front Royal, but we are making preparations for crossing.

N.P. BANKS,
Major-General, Commanding.


WINCHESTER, June 16, 1862.

Hon. E. M. STANTON.

Everything is quiet in the valley to-day. The Third Brigade, Williams' division, will move to the Shenandoah to-morrow, making two brigades opposite Front Royal. General Sigel's division will advance in same direction immediately. Unavailing efforts have been made to provide sufficient means of crossing river, but they will be secured immediately. Tuesday morning, if nothing occurs here, I will be in Washington.

N.P. BANKS,
Major-General.

 

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