As Lee has fallen back, and as your militia here is getting mutinous in its resolves, I think you had better call back all your troops unless the department chooses to put this in your command, as it should do. I have no doubt but that I rank General Lockwood, and if I do you might, by a messenger direct to Meade, set things to rights at once; but still I don't think "le jeu vaut la chandelle, " and my present position is simply insupportable, because I cannot give a single order that I am certain I have the power to force the execution of. Truly, yours,
WM. F. SMITH.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SUSQEHANNA, Chambersburg, July 23, 1863.
Brigadier General William F. Smith,
Commanding at Hagerstown:
GENERAL: I wish you to hold on for the present. I supposed that General Schenck had settled the matter with his troops. I will immediately telegraph him about it. As regards the mutinous state of the men of [Emlen] Franklin's command, if nothing can be done with them or their colonels, you will have to fall back toward Greencastle. Please write me particularly about it; where the difficulty lies, &c. Above all things, we want to avoid a mutiny; and if, upon the receipt of this, from your knowledge, as above stated, it is eminently expedient to fall back, do so. In that case I would like you to remain for awhile at Hagerstown, until Kelley is over, and gotten the country south of the Potomac in his possession. Respectfully,
D. N. COUCH,
CHERRY RUN, VA., July 23, 1863-8 a. m. (Received 5. 50 p. m.)
Chief of Staff:
My cavalry drove in the enemy's pickets at McCoy's Ferry and North Mountain yesterday. Deserters report that Ewell's corps occupied Hedgesville a few hours after we left on Monday night, but, finding I had retreated, fell back to Martinsburg. I have sent a strong cavalry scout this morning toward Hedgesville, to learn the strength and position of the enemy. Quite a number of deserters come in daily; belong mostly to Hampton's brigade, from Georgia and South Carolina, and generally so ignorant that little reliable information can be obtained from them.
B. F. KELLEY,
CHERRY RUN, VA., July 23, 1863. (Received 10. 10 p. m.)
Brigadier General G. W. CULLUM,
Chief of Staff, Washington, D. C.:
My cavalry expedition has just returned from Hedgesville and North Mountain, and report that the enemy have retreated, and are