Martinsburg on Saturday, at 2 p.m., in direction of Romney; am not prepared to say that this is reliable. I am also advised this morning that the enemy is moving from the Kanawha toward Clarksburg, the front of their column, 3,000 strong, occupying Sutton. It is evidently the object of the Confederate authorities to destroy the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and reoccupy Western Virginia. May I suggest that, if consistent with your plans, Cumberland, Md., and this point be strengthened by troops thrown from Williamsport, as I will most probably be compelled to concentrate the greater portion of my force at Clarksburg, to repel General Loring, who is moving from the Kanawha?
Colonel McReynolds' First New York Cavalry, with portions of two regiments of cavalry, arrived here Saturday, having been ordered here on a reconnaissance by General Pleasonton. If you can spare them, I would be pleased to have them remain for a time, as I greatly need a cavalry force.
B. F. KELLEY,
NEW CREEK, VA., September 29, 1862.
I am advised that a large cavalry and artillery force left Martinsburg on Saturday, in the direction of Romney. Whether this is reliable or not, I am not prepared to say. After receiving this information, however, I deemed it prudent to order back an expedition, which started to drive out Imboden, who is said to be a few miles above Moorefield, with some 700 or 800 guerrillas.
I received, this morning, information from Colonel Harris, Tenth Virginia, at Bulltown, that the enemy is moving across from Kanawha toward Clarksburg, and the head of the column had reached Sutton, Braxton County, 3,000 strong. I think it is evident from the message of Governor Letcher and the recent action of Confederate leaders, that their object is to totally destroy the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and to recapture Western Virginia. To prevent the accomplishment of this purpose, additional troops should be sent into Western Virginia at once. May I respectfully suggest that, to insure success in driving the rebels out of Western Virginia, concert of action between this and the Kanawha district is absolutely necessary?
B. F. KELLEY,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, September 29, 1862.
General E. V. SUMNER,
The commanding general desires that you will at once cause the country about Harper's Ferry, on both sides of the river, to be thoroughly scoured by parties of cavalry, for the purpose of arresting all marauders and stragglers that may be found on the highway, in the fields, in the woods, or in or about the dwellings of the inhabitants. It is feared that many of our men have absented themselves from their regiments, and are actually living upon the people of the country. All marauders and stragglers that you parties may find, the commanding general wishes you to have promptly brought to trial.