HEADQUARTERS FOURTH SEPARATE BRIGADE,
Beverly, September 18, 1863.
Brigadier General B. F. KELLEY,
My scouts left Crab Bottom the day before yesterday at 4 o'clock p. m. Jenkins was there with about 1,000 mounted and 1,500 infantry and two guns. They saw a Union man who had come through Monterey the day before, and reported having seen no force on the way. If Jones had moved from Greenbrier northward, I think I should have known it. I have sent a report to the rebels that I have gone to Buckhannon with three regiments. I have a picket of an officer and 10 men on the Seneca road 10 miles out; an officer and 15 men near New Interest, and pickets on every road and path leading to this place, and all the roads are constantly patrolled. I beg to assure you that I understand the importance of pickets and know from personal attention to the subject that the duties are properly performed.
WM. W. AVERELL,
HDQRS. ARMY, ADJT. GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 420. Washington, September 18, 1863.
I Brigadier General J. C. Sullivan, U. S. Volunteers, is hereby relieved from duty with Major-General Grant and assigned to duty with Brigadier-General Kelley, commanding Department of West Virginia.
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By command of Major-General Halleck:
E. D. TOWNSEND,
WASHINGTON, D. C.,
September 19, 1863.
GENERAL: Yours of 3 p. m. of yesterday is received.
It is my duty to point out to the generals commanding the several armies in the field the objects which the Government wishes accomplished, and to assist as far as possible in attaining those objects. But unless directed to do so, I never attempt to direct a general when, where, or how to give battle. He must decide such matters for himself. No one else can do it for him. I have no idea of playing the part of an Austrian ruler.
You are left free to exercise your own judgment on this subject. In regard to Richmond, I do not consider it of any very great military importance, nor as the objective point of the Army of the Potomac. Your objective point, in my opinion, is Lee's army, and the object to be attained is to do it as much harm as possible with as little injury as possible to yourself. If Lee holds a position too strong to be attacked, and he cannot be turned by maneuvering, then his outposts and detachments can be attacked, his communications threatened by raids, or the supplies of the adjacent country collected