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Doc. 117.-General Patterson's movement.

Charlestown, Va., Thursday, July 18, 1861.
The army, under Gen. Patterson, has been rivalling the celebrated King of the French. With twenty thousand men he marched to Bunker Hill, and then — marched back again. What it all means Heaven only knows. I think it would puzzle the spirits of Caesar, Saxe, Napoleon, Wellington, and all the departed heroes, to make it out. The reason currently assigned is that the enemy had been largely reinforced, and had strongly intrenched himself at Winchester, expecting the attack. The old story. It is said he had over 20,000 men and 22 cannon. I don't believe it, for the simple reason that like all the other reports of the same kind which have invariably turned out to be false, it rests entirely upon public rumor. Our scouts and pickets were never sent sufficiently near to ascertain the truth.

But another significant fact about which there is no doubt is, that the enemy had felled trees and placed fences across the road in such a way as to delay and embarrass the march of our army, which showed no desire to meet us.

Another cause to which I hear attributed the failure to march upon Winchester is that the terms of most of the Pennsylvania regiments will expire in about a week, and it was feared they would refuse to advance further after their term had expired. This I believe to be a libel upon the Pennsylvania troops. I do not dispute that many, even the large majority, desire to go home when their term expires, but that men who voluntarily took up arms at the call of their country would lay them down in the face of the enemy, I do not believe. On the contrary, the fact is notorious that the men now, as heretofore, long to be led against the enemy. I assert, without the fear of contradiction, that had it been left to the troops, their decision would have been unanimous to be led to Winchester.

That there is dissatisfaction and a desire to go home on the part of many, I have already admitted, and their dissatisfaction is to be attributed in a great measure to the course which has been from the first pursued toward these men. They have been hardly used, poorly clothed, poorly fed, compelled to endure day after day the monotonous hardships of camp life. There has been an unconcealed want of confidence in them on the part of the commanding General, and no interest has been taken in their wants, their feelings, or their sufferings. They have seldom been reviewed by him, and scarcely ever addressed, except in the way of rebuke; and we have had none of those stirring addresses, (like Napoleon's or McClellan's,) appealing to the patriotism and arousing the enthusiasm of the men. All this has been from the first ignored, and even a parade made of treating the men as hirelings and inferiors. All this has contributed to produce [396] this lukewarmness on the part of the troops. But I believe the right spirit is still among them, although a little dormant at present, and all that is wanted is a leader in sympathy with the cause and with the men to draw it out. I do not mean in this to preach insubordination. I believe in strict discipline, and so I believe do nine men out of ten who have been a month in the ranks. Men soon learn that when in large masses strict discipline is really for the benefit of all. But discipline is a very different thing from indifference, ill usage, and contempt.

But to return to the statement of facts. On Monday morning the army marched in two columns from Martinsburg to Bunker Hill — the second and third divisions taking the Winchester turnpike and the first division a road parallel to the turnpike and about a mile to the left. Each regiment carried its own provisions, (and wagons, of course,) and had a supply for five days only. Occasionally we could see the enemy's pickets galloping off, and three were captured and one killed. When near Bunker Hill we passed their encampment, and on arriving learned that about 500 rebel cavalry had passed through, some hours before our arrival, toward Winchester. No other force was between Martinsburg and Winchester, and there had been none there for a week. The report and prevailing belief the day we arrived, and until late the next day, were that the enemy were preparing to leave Winchester. In the evening, however, it leaked out that information had been brought to headquarters that Johnston had been largely reinforced from Strasburg, and was intrenching himself as though determined to make a stand at Winchester. Then came the order to be ready to march at daybreak, and the men and many of the officers thought, of course, it was to be upon Winchester. But those doubted who knew that no sufficient supplies had been brought for an advance far into the interior, and who had observed that all day Sunday the large trains that had been for a week hauling the supplies to Martinsburg were hauling them back to Williamsport.

It was amusing to hear the remarks of the men as they were marching out the Charlestown road. They seemed to know that they were not marching the direct route to Winchester. Some said the enemy had put up intrenchments on the road, and this direction was taken to get in his rear. Others thought that only a portion were taking this route, and that other divisions of the army were marching on the direct road. Even after arriving at Charlestown there were many who thought they were on the way to Winchester.

The army marched in one column from Bunker Hill to this place, Gen. Cadwalader's division in front, Col. Thomas' brigade the advance guard, and Gen. Keim's division bringing up the rear, flanking companies and cavalry being thrown out on both sides to prevent surprise. We met not a single enemy, not even a solitary horseman, and the march was performed without the occurrence of a single incident worth noting. We arrived here about noon, and I do not think were very warmly received by the inhabitants. This part of the country is strongly tinctured with secessionism. The men say little, but the women (God bless them!) can't keep their tongues quiet, and will let the cat out of the bag.

This town contains about 1,500 inhabitants, and is the pleasantest place we have been in since leaving Hagerstown. It contains many fine private residences, but most, indeed all, of the principal inhabitants, being secessionists, have left. Their mansions are used by the chiefs of departments. Gen. Patterson has his Headquarters at the residence of----Hunter, Esq., State's Attorney, (and, I believe, a nephew of the Senator.) Col. Crossman, Deputy Quartermaster-General, has his at the residence of an officer in the secession army, whose name I cannot just now think of.

To-day the Second Massachusetts regiment marched for Harper's Ferry, and this whole column, it is expected, will soon be moved there.

--N. Y. Time, July 26.

A correspondent of the Philadelphia Press makes the following statement:--

Hagerstown, Md., July 25, 1861.
sir:--You will confer a favor upon the friends of justice by giving space to the accompanying statement. I make this request in behalf of Pennsylvania, whose commanding General has been accused of dereliction of duty. The following is based upon the information of citizens of Berkeley county, Virginia, well known to me, who, having been impressed in the rebel force, deserted therefrom:

At the time the first advance into Virginia was ordered General Johnston's force numbered over 14,000 men, and had attached to it a park of splendid artillery. General Patterson's command did not exceed 11,000 men, and he had not over eight pieces of artillery, which latter were taken from him, compelling the return of our army to Maryland. The second advance was made by 9,000 men, and not over ten guns. General Patterson knew from information derived from scouts, deserters, &c., that Johnston's force exceeded his own, and the result of a battle with him was deemed by the General and army officers more than doubtful. Upon our arrival at Bunker Hill we had not one man more than 18,000 men. This calculation is based on the assumption that each regiment numbered 700 fighting men. This, however, is too liberal an estimate, and after deducting the sick, and the camp guards, it will be seen that we could not have brought more than 14,000 men into the field Our artillery numbered eighteen guns, all of a small calibre, with the exception of four pieces. We had five companies of cavalry.

Despatches from the War Department showed [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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