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[86] giving as excuse that he had not transportation enough to supply his army for more than three days at a time, and as he could get nothing from the country he had invaded, while the enemy could, he was compelled to send back to Hagerstown for all his subsistence. He was also under the impression that Johnston's army had been increased to 13,000 men. On the 4th, he wired that as soon as he could get a supply of provisions he intended to advance on Winchester, β€˜to drive the enemy from that place, if any remained,’ and then move toward Charlestown, to which point he believed Stone was advancing from toward Washington, by way of Harper's Ferry; and then, if it was not too hazardous, he would continue to Leesburg, but unless he was reinforced with long term men, he would have to abandon the country, as the time of most of his army was about to expire, on the 15th of July.

Scott, who had on the 1st informed Patterson that he hoped to move a column of 35,000 men the next week, aggressively, toward Manassas Junction, promised reinforcements and said that Stone was in supporting distance, with all his force, opposite Harper's Ferry. He suggested that after defeating the enemy, Patterson could continue the pursuit, if not too hazardous, and advance toward Alexandria by way of Leesburg, but must move with great caution through the dangerous defiles. Patterson replied that large reinforcements had come from Manassas to Johnston, who probably then had β€˜26,000 men and 24 field guns, some of them rifled and of large caliber.’

Patterson must have been greatly confused by Scott's unintelligible orders, directing movements to Alexandria by way of Strasburg, etc., but, stimulated by the arrival of reinforcements and the prospect of more, he issued orders on the 8th for a movement the next day, in two parallel columns, toward Winchester; but instead of marching he called a council of war, participated in by the heads of his staff departments and his brigade commanders, in which there was a general concurrence of expressed opinions, that it would be a very dangerous business to move toward Winchester, each having a professional reason for his conclusions; the quartermaster and the commissary saying they could get neither sufficient transportation nor supplies for such an extended movement;

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