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HARPER'S FERRY, August 20, 1864-5 a. m.
(Received 8 a. m.)


Secretary of War:

I have just received the following dispatch from General Averell. All quiet in Sheridan's front at this hour. General Averell's dispatch is dated 2 a. m. to-day and is as follows:

I have just received the following information: At 5 p. m. 19th Gilmor, with forty or fifty men, entered Martinsburg, one brigade of Fitz Lee's cavalry, with two regiments of infantry, being at Big Spring, on the Winchester pike. The remainder of Fitz Lee's command was at Bunker Hill. He has two or three batteries. They say that Early was to pass through Snicker's Gap and join the main body of Lee's army, which was to cross the Potomac at Edwards' Ferry. Fitz Lee's cavalry was to cross at Shepherdstown and look after Averell.

N. P. CHIPMAN, Colonel and Aide-de-Camp.

Colonel CHIPMAN,

Harper's Ferry:


Washington City, August 20, 1864-2.24 p. m.

Please report what force is at Harper's Ferry, who is in command, and what is the condition of the troops and defenses.


Secretary of War.

Colonel CHIPMAN,


Washington City, August 20, 1864-8 p. m.

Harper's Ferry: Your telegram to-day does not say where Averell is, and omits the place his dispatch is dated from. Accuracy requires this always to be stated. Is the river picketed to Monocacy, and have you any commu nication with Edwards' Ferry? How far below Harper's Ferry on the river have you means of information?

Secretary of War.

HARPER'S FERRY, W. VA., August 20, 1864-8 p.m.
(Received 9.40 p. m.)

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General Stevenson commands at Harper's Ferry. He sent detachment of Loudoun Rangers on scout into Loudoun County this morning. From report just made by Lieutenant-Colonel Cook I glean the following: Detachment crossed Potomac at Mock's Ford; went near Leesburg; heard no enemy; changed direction; crossed mountain at Gray's Gap; went to Waterford; encountered Mosby with twelve of his guer

rillas; routed them, captured four. Mosby narrowly escaped by abandoning horse and taking to mountain. A detachment will be sent back with instructions to go as far as Aldie. General Averell's dispatch sent to-day was dated Shepherdstown, where he was when last heard from. General Stevenson pickets to the mouth of the Monocacy. He has a company at Noland's Ferry and one at Point of Rocks. Position of General Sheridan's lines about as last stated. Nothing since 2 a. m. from General Averell. General Stevenson does not extend his pickets above Harper's Ferry more than a mile. Will send statement of forces here in half an hour.

N. P. CHIPMAN, Colonel and Aide-de-Camp.

HARPER'S FERRY, W. VA., August 20, 1864—10 p. m.
(Received 11.30 p. m.)


Secretary of War:

Aggregate force reporting to General Stevenson, commanding Harper's Ferry, is 12,394. Of these 3,059 are armed and equipped as infantry and good fighting men; 2,056 are 100-days' men, ordered home, time expired; 1,416 stragglers and convalescents badly armed, disor ganized and of little use; 1,900 dismounted cavalry partially armed., Add to this heavy artillery 480 men, 30 guns; 983 light artillery, 49 guns. This includes all outposts, Frederick, mouth of Monocacy, and between there and here and Halltown. The force is thought ample to hold Maryland Heights proper and Fort Duncan on the point of land about 3,000 yards west of Stone Battery, and the 100-pounder Parrott on the heights, and perfectly commanded by them. The guns of Fort Duncan and Maryland Heights command the town of Harper's Ferry, Bolivar Heights, and would make between heights untenable. It is a mistake, therefore, to suppose Harper's Ferry abandoned by retiring to the heights; it is the only way really to hold it. Will send by mail to-morrow morning diagram with detailed report of defenses, strength, and position of batteries, &c. The force here is not well organized except the artillery, but is rapidly being put in fighting condition.

N. P. CHIPMAN, Colonel and Aide-de-Camp.


Major-General SHERIDAN,

Commanding Middle Division, Charlestown, Va.:

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Major Waite, Eighth Illinois Cavalry, left Muddy Branch at 12 m. to-day, on his scout toward the gaps. He has about 650 me. directed him to carry out the orders of General Grant, which you sent me, as far as he could, but not to let it interfere with his scouting. I have no report yet from Lazelle.

C. C. AUGUR, Major-General, Commanding.

Charlestown, August 20, 1864.

Maj. Gen. C. C. AUGUR,

Commanding Department of Washington:

I have 100 men who will take the contract to clean out Mosby's gang. I want 100 Spencer rifles for them. Send them to me if they can be found in Washington. There is no news here. The enemy are about Winchester; they have not gone toward the Potomac, although I left the road open.

P. H. SHERIDAN, Major-General, Commanding.

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The chief of ordnance has been directed to issue Spencer rifles to detachments from regiments already armed with them. A Massachusetts regiment of 100-days' men should be sent to-morrow to Fort Delaware to relieve an Ohio regiment there. Notify commanding officer at Fort Delaware when it starts, and also General Wallace, to prevent straggling at Baltimore.

H. W. HALLECK, Major-General and Chief of Staff.

FORT MONROE, August 20, 1864-10 p. m.
(Received 6.30 a. m. 21st.)

Major-General HALLECK,

Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: Arrived at 9.20 p. m. in steamer Arago, with the One hundred and third New York Volunteers, from Port Royal, S. C. Report hereby to you as directed. Will await, as ordered, two hours for orders from you, and, none arriving, after that time will proceed to Alexan dria, Va., as ordered by General Foster.


Colonel 103d New York Volunteers.

[First indorsement.]

AUGUST 21, 1864.

These troops were ordered for duty in Department of Washington. General Augür will have orders sent to Alexandria for their disposition, landing them there or at Washington, as he may deem best.

H. W. HALLECK, Major-General and Chief of Staff.

[Second indorsement.]

Colonel Wells telegraphed to order Colonel Heine to disembark at Alexandria and await orders from De Russy. De Russy telegraphed to send orders to meet the regiment. Dispatch assigning Heine's regiment to De Russy's division forwarded by messenger to Alexandria. J. H. T.

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10. The Sixth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers is hereby relieved from duty in this department and will proceed without delay to Fort Delaware, Del., and be reported to the commanding officer of that post for duty. The quartermaster's department will furnish the necessary transportation.

By command of Major-General Augar:

C. H. RAYMOND, Assistant Adjutant-General.



Eighth Illinois Cavalry, Commanding Camp Stoneman: COLONEL: The major-general commanding directs that the necessary order [be issued] for the movement of the Twenty-fifth New York Cavalry, and such detachments of regiments belonging to the First and Third Divisions, Cavalry Corps, and Reserve Brigade, as are now at Camp Stoneman equipped and prepared to take the field. Major MePherson, Twenty-fifthi New York Cavalry, will command the column, and be instructed to report to Major-General Sheridan, commanding Middle Military Division, marching via Harper's Ferry. He should move with three days' rations for man and horse, with the usual allowance of ammunition, and be instructed to escort the train of the Third Division, Cavalry Corps, en route and parked near this city, to the headquarters of that division. Be pleased to report when the troops march and the effective strength of the command.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
Chief of Staff and Assistant Adjutant-General.


Major WAITE,

August 20, 1861.

Eighth Illinois Cavalry, Commanding at Muddy Branch: MAJOR: I am directed by the major-general commanding to inclose herewith instructions emanating from headquarters of the army, for


warded by Major-General Sheridan, commanding military division.* He directs that these instructions during your scout be carried out to this extent and in this wise: On your return you will impress, load with forage, and bring to your camp as many wagons as your command is competent to protect; you will also arrest all male "rebel sympathizers" between the ages of eighteen and fifty who come within your reach and forward them to these headquarters under guard, with lists specifying name, place of residence, and character. You will also specify names of persons from whom wagons and forage are taken. This is not to interfere with the requirements of your scout, but to be accomplished on your return.

Your most obedient servant,


Chief of Staff and Assistant Adjutant-General.

Col. J. H. TAYLOR,

Chief of Staff:

YOUNG'S ISLAND, August 20, 1864.
(Received 3 p. m.)

I shall cross at this point at 12.30 p. m. with about 650 men, with three days' rations.


Major, &c., Commanding.

Lieut. Col. J. H. TAYLOR,

Near Falls Church, Va., August 20, 1864.

Chief of Staff and Assistant Adjutant-General:

COLONEL: I have the honor to report my return this evening from a scout toward the Rappahannock with 280 men of the Sixteenth New York Cavalry. We passed within eight miles of that river, and had it been necessary, should have gone to it. We were informed by general report that no attempts are making by the rebels to use the railroad or any part of it above Culpeper Court-House, and no repairs of it are making above that point. There are at Warrenton about 2,000 infantry and about 500 cavalry, and a large force, 10,000 men (cavalry and infantry), at Culpeper, moving up toward Warrenton. The rebels are using the roads between Warrenton and Chester Gap and Manassas Gap, and passing trains, troops, and supplies over them constantly. One hundred of Kincheloe's band have been sent to do duty in the west of Stafford and east of Culpeper Counties. This leaves about twenty of his party in the vicinity below the Orange and Alexandria Railroad. Straggling guerrillas were seen, a few picked up, and one belonging to the Fifteenth Virginia Regiment brought in with seven captured horses. We returned by way of Brentsville and Manassas. Beyond the above I have nothing to report.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel Sixteenth New York Cavalry, Comdg. Cavalry Brigade.

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