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Israel Washburn to Stanton Transcript
State of Maine
Hon. E. M. Stanton
In Major General Banks’ official report of the march of the troops under his command from Strasburg Va. to Williamsport Md. on the 24th & 25th days of May 1862, I find no mention whatever of the five companies of the 1st Maine cavalry under Lt. Col. C. S. Douty. From this report I would infer that no portion of the Maine Cavalry were with General Banks or had any part in the fighting on either of those days.
The intelligence I had received from several sources, supposed to be entirely reliable, left no doubt upon in my mind that the Maine Cavalry, under Lt. Col. Douty were with General Banks on this march, & participated actively, displaying remarkable coolness & gallantry in the engagement at Middletown & at other times and places.
I enclose a copy of a letter addressed to me by Mr. A. C. Spalding, who had been requested in my name to visit Williamsport to look after the sick and wounded of the Maine troops understood to have been in this March or retreat, from which it appears that Major J. P. Cilley, a young officer of distinguished merit, was wounded, probably mortally, near Middletown, and that the loss of the five companies in what Mr. Spalding calls “the retreat up the Shenandoah” was, in killed, wounded and missing, 66.
I find it difficult to reconcile this statement of Mr. Spalding & which is in substance confirmed by many witnesses, with Gen’l Banks’ official report to you & I am not a little solicitous to know learn in be informed in bot learn whether if you have any evidence in you possession, upon the question whether any part of the Maine Cavalry was with Gen’l Banks on this occasion & if you have, whether where was the Maine Cavalry on this march, & if with Gen’l Banks’ command, what was its conduct meritorious or otherwise or in what manner did it conduct itself?
I will thank you for such information on these points as you may feel at liberty to permit me.
I have the honor to be
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