separate detail of 250 cavalrymen to Warrenton Junction, with orders to push on Wednesday morning to Warrenton, and capture, if possible, the two companies of rebel cavalry now stationed there, and return to camp and report to you.
I request that a brigade of infantry be ordered to proceed to Richard's Ford on Monday, with a battery and two squadrons of cavalry, with orders to effect a crossing, if possible at daylight on Wednesday morning, and to recross and return by Ellis' Ford, capturing the picket, if practicable. The officer in command should send a report to me at Hartwood as soon as he arrives at Richards' Ford. I will leave an officer to bring it to me. I also desire that three regiments of infantry be ordered to report to me at Hartwood at 2 p.m. Tuesday, in order to proceed with me until I shall arrive at Kelly's Ford, from which point, after I shall have crossed, they may return on Wednesday. I propose to take 500 additional cavalry with me to Raccoon Ford, to return from that point, in order, if possible, that the enemy may receive the report that the entire force has returned. I desire that a signal party, provided with rockets, &c., be ordered to proceed with me to Kelly's Ford, in order that you may be informed on Wednesday night if I have succeeded in crossing. A signal officer should accompany me, to communicate, if necessary, with another, who should be sent immediately to our advanced posts at Suffolk. A topographical engineer (Lieutenant Bowen, if practicable), with 20 well-mounted me, provided with means of destroying bridges, culverts, telegraph wires, &c., would be very essential. I shall take twenty axes with my command besides, and intend to take one day's rations and forage from here in wagons, in order that I may have a full supply after crossing Kelly's Ford.
May I ask that Colonel Davis, Eighth New York Cavalry, Lieutenant Pennington, Second U. S. Artillery, and the commanding officers of the First, Second, and Fourth U. S. Cavalry, and the signal officers, be directed to report to me for orders to-morrow at 10 a.m., at my camp, and that Colonel Ingalls be requested to furnish Lieutenant Pennington with 24 solid, serviceable horses at once, the best that can be found in the department; and, finally, may I ask that the major-general commanding will direct that his orders be issued to me to carry out the above proposed operations?
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. W. AVERELL,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO,
Cincinnati, Ohio, December 28, 1862-1.30 a.m.
Major General JACOB D. COX,
It is impossible, in my judgment, to increase the force in Kentucky as soon as desirable, and you will, therefore, detach as much of the force in the Kanawha as you prudently can, and direct it to report to me without delay. I have heretofore spoken of Crook's division. I am not particular about this. Send such troops as you can spare, and reorganize those left in the Kanawha as you think proper, under whatever command you may select.
H. G. WRIGHT,