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[88] gives the aggregate present for duty as 105,825, and the total, present and absent, as 156,838.1

Two statements of the strength of our army under General J. E. Johnston during the month of May—in which General McClellan testified that he was greatly in need of McDowell's corps—give the following results: first, the official return, May 21, 1862, total effective of all arms, 53,688; subsequently, five brigades were added, and the effective strength of the army under General Johnston on May 31, 1862, was 62,696.2

I now proceed to inquire what caused the panic at Washington.

On May 23d, General Jackson, with whose force that of General Ewell had united, moved with such rapidity as to surprise the enemy, and Ewell, who was in advance, captured most of the troops at Front Royal, and pressed directly on to Winchester, while Jackson, turning across to the road from Strasburg, struck the main column of the enemy in flank and drove it routed back to Strasburg. The pursuit was comtinued to Winchester, and the enemy, under their commander in chief, General Banks, fled across the Potomac into Maryland. Two thousand prisoners were taken in the pursuit. General Banks in his report says, ‘There never were more grateful hearts in the same number of men, than when, at mid-day on the 26th, we stood on the opposite shore.’

When the news of the attack on Front Royal, on May 23d, reached General Geary, charged with the protection of the Manassas Gap Railroad, he immediately moved to Manassas Junction. At the same time, his troops, hearing the most extravagant stories, burned their tents and destroyed a quantity of arms. General Duryea, at Catlett's Station, becoming alarmed on hearing of the withdrawal of Geary, took his three New York regiments, leaving a Pennsylvania one behind, hastened back to Centreville, and telegraphed to Washington for aid. He left a large quantity of army stores. The alarm spread to Washington, and the Secretary of War, Stanton, issued a call to the governors of the ‘loyal’ states for militia to defend that city.

The following is the dispatch sent to the governor of Massachusetts:

Washington, Sunday, May 25, 1862.
To the Governor of Massachusetts.
Intelligence from various quarters leaves no doubt that the enemy in great force are marching on Washington. You will please organize and forward immediately all the militia and volunteer force in your State.

Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War.

1 Ibid., p. 337.

2 Four Years with General Lee, by Walter H. Taylor, p. 50.

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