MITCHELL'S STATION, September 19, 1863.
(Received 9. 20 p. m.)
The following rebel signal message has been intercepted:
SIGNAL STATION on CLARK'S MOUNTAIN.
Rodes can hold his position. I am just from Morton's Ford. His position is a strong one. Everything very quiet to-day. I am sending a written dispatch.
F. W. MARSTON,
Captain, and Signal Officer.
Washington, September 19, 1863-3. 20 p. m.
Clarksburg, W. Va.:
The Secretary of War directs that a report be made of the recent captures by the enemy in your department, in order that the officers who have neglected their duty may be tried or summarily dismissed. Where such captures result from neglect or carelessness, the commanding general of the department should have the officers tried or reported for dismissal. Unless this is done the Secretary of War holds the commanding general responsible.
H. W. HALLECK,
HEADQUARTERS FOURTH SEPARATE BRIGADE,
Beverly, September 19, 1863.
Brigadier General B. F. KELLEY,
My picket on the Seneca road has been stationed from half a mile to 2 miles of the Burnt House for several days, with orders to change their position twice every twenty-four hours. A patrol from that picket has gone in the direction of Soldier White's daily, and patrols from here visit the pickets on each road daily. From New Interest a patrol goes to Carrick's Ford. All the pickets have orders not to permit themselves to be seen, which will account for the captain of the Sixth failing to observe them. The Burnt House is a dangerous place for a picket, so I keep them near enough to observe without being seen. I have had several sketches made of all that section, and officers have carefully examined all those roads, and their reports are before me.
Scouts from Pocahontas report that Jackson has gone to McDowell. I do not place implicit reliance upon it. I am not sure that Mulligan ought not to be re-enforced. I have strengthened and attended my pickets in the directions you suggest.
My reports this morning is in reply to your dispatch; was intended to relieve you of any disquietude, and not as a manifestation of