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[397] that the advance of McDowell's column would commence Tuesday. On that day, General Patterson was at Bunker Hill, having driven Johnston's cavalry into Winchester. That evening scouts brought information that Johnston's force had been under arms, anticipating an attack from us. They numbered from thirty-five to forty-two thousand men, and were drawn up in line one mile north of their intrenchments, wherein there were mounted sixty-four guns. This statement of the enemy's force has been since confirmed by all our accounts, by every deserter, and by Samuel Webster and John Staub, Esqs., both well-known Union citizens of Martinsburg, the latter being a leading lawyer of the place, and a Union candidate in the spring for the Legislature. Both gentlemen had been impressed in the secession force. Mr. Staub escaped in the confusion of the march from Winchester to Manassas.

Immediately after the return of our scouts, a council of war was held, at which it was decided unanimously that the force should be moved to Charlestown.

The reasons for so doing, as given, were that a position at Charlestown would preclude the possibility of Johnston's going on the left of Beauregard and marching on Washington; again, that Patterson would be on the line of the railroad to Harper's Ferry, and could, therefore, better receive supplies and reinforcements; and, lastly, that in the case of the three-months men refusing to remain ten days beyond their time, the army could fall back on Harper's Ferry.

Upon our arrival at Charlestown, the volunteers were sounded on the subject of remaining ten additional days. A vote was taken, and but four regiments consented to stay. The reasons given by the men for refusing to remain, were that they had been badly treated by the State, that their pork was unfit to eat, their clothes ragged, their feet bare, and that they received often but two to three crackers a day. These were the reasons given by the men; not one word was said by them touching Gen. Patterson. I appeal to the officers (who did not themselves oppose the remaining for ten days) to sustain the accuracy of this statement.

Gen. Johnston left Winchester. Could Gen. Patterson with eighteen thousand men (many of whom would be free to return home in a day or two) follow and offer battle to a force of forty thousand men?--recollecting that he was to offer battle only when success was at least probable, with any degree of prudence. Had he done so, a battle would have been inevitable — an overwhelming defeat certain — and the road to Washington open. He could not prevent the march to Manassas, but he could prevent Johnston's advance on the left to the Capital. Gen. Patterson then fell back on Sunday morning to Harper's Ferry; two-thirds of his force would leave him in a few hours, and he must select the best place for protection to his force of less than five thousand men, which he did by taking position at the Ferry. Had Manassas been attacked on Tuesday, victory, doubtless, would have been ours, for Patterson had Johnston cooped in Winchester, expecting an attack from us, which supposition was caused by the reconnoissance made by our force.

The foregoing is based upon information whose reliability can be vouched for by Col. Longnecker, (commanding the fourth brigade,) and by every general officer under the command of General Patterson. In sending this to yon, I am actuated by a desire to do justice to my adopted State, whose brave and slandered son has been so foully attacked.

an officer Tenth regiment of Pa

Phila. Press, July 27.

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