War of the Rebellion: Serial 028 Page 0404 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA.

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[CHAP. XXXI.

HEADQUARTERS FIFTH ARMY CORPS,

October 8, 1862.

Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS,

Asst. Adjt. General, Headquarters Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: I have heard from various sources at a distance, and seen it published, that Generals Burnside and Pleasonton had presented charges against me for refusing re-enforcements asked of me at the battle of Antietam. This report had gained much circulation and some credence, and is being used much to my injury. In order that I may take the necessary steps to free myself from unjust imputations, I respectfully request to be informed if any such charge or report has been made against me. I respectfully request an early reply.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. J. PORTER,

Major-General, Commanding.

(Indorsement:) Answered verbally.

GREEN SPRING, VA.,

October 8, 1862-11.20 a.m. (Received 4.50 p.m.)

Brigadier-General MARCY, Harper's Ferry:

As long as the river is at present stage, Colonel Campbell can maintain his present position with safety. If his companies are vigilant, if threatened by an overwhelming force, they can retire to the Maryland side. I will cover him with cavalry as soon as practicable. There are points of the road that cavalry cannot guard, on account of the extensive ruggedness of ground; there are no continuous wagon roads along the railroad, and generally not even a bridle-path. There is no way of going from South Branch Bridge with cavalry to Sir John's Run, except by way of Bloomery Gap; the mountain ridges on this side, running nearly north and south, impinge upon the river, and to go a short distance from one point to another along the right bank it is necessary to make long journeys up and down valleys and through gaps. All is quiet along the railroad and at Romney this morning. Captain Boyd has not yet been heard from probably owing to his watching for my arrival through the Bloomery Gap. As soon as I hear from him, I shall set out to go down south of the Potomac, through Bloomery Gap; thence touching at Bath and Hancock, and then, via Martinsburg, to Williamsport. I have sent after Boyd, and my intended route may be changed by the information received from him. If there is the slightest prospect of success, I shall try to catch Imboden.

WM. W. AVERELL,

Brigadier-General, Volunteers.

GREEN SPRING, VA.,

October 8, 1862-8.25 p.m.

General MARCY:

Captain Boyd has returned, with 350 men. He encountered Imboden's pickets at North River Mills at 8 p.m. on the 6th, driving them until 4 a.m. on the 7th, slowly, on account of being obliged to dismount men as skirmishers most of the way. Rested three hours, and followed them to Cacapon Bridge, where pickets were driven again. Ascertained, by close reconnaissance from the hills and from reports of citizens, that his force was, 1,500 mounted infantry, with one piece of artillery. Learned