I congratulate you on the brilliant movement of Colonel Vaughn's command. To break the line of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was essential to our operations, and if the bridge at Cheat River and the Grand Tunnel could be destroyed so as to prevent the use of that railroad for the duration of the war the effect upon public opinion in Western Virginia would doubtless be of immediate and great advantage to our cause. If the enemy has withdrawn from your front to attack on the east side of the mountain, it may be that an attempt will be made to advance from Leesburg to seize the Manassas Gap road and to turn Beauregard's position.... In that event, if your scouts give you accurate and timely information, an opportunity will be offered to you by the roads through the mountain-passes to make a flank attack in conjunction with Beauregard's column, and with God's blessing to achieve a victory alike glorious and beneficial.... I wish you would write whenever your convenience will permit, and give me fully both information and suggestions.Twenty-five hundred militia, called out in Frederick and the surrounding counties, were assembling at Winchester under Brigadier-Generals Carson and Meem; and, especially to increase their value, Major Whiting was directed to have a few light defensive works constructed on the most commanding positions
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