directing the force at Middle Fork to go to Buckhannon and take care of your transportation and stores. You will also send a party to communicate with me at this place, should the telegraph lines be down. Keep three days' rations constantly in the haversacks. I believe I am able to hold this valley, if you can take care of that flank. Let your patrols and your command be provided with axes; and regard this telegram as confidential. Answer if you understand me fully.
WM. W. AVERELL,
September 25, 1863-6. 15 p. m.
A discharged railroad engineer from Richmond a week ago has just arrived. Says Longstreet's corps, also Wise's brigade, went to Bragg two weeks since; also a few troops went south. Pickett's headquarters with two brigades at Chaffin's Bluff. No other troops in or near Richmond. Rebels are discharging many railroad hands because roads worn out. They are conscripted immediately on discharge.
I. J. WISTAR,
September 25, 1863-3. 15 p. m.
Brigadier-General Barnes has been assigned to your command, in the place of General Naglee. It is decided that he be assigned to duty as commander of Norfolk. You know the high reputation he enjoys as a military man, and are perhaps personally acquainted with him. I hope he may be acceptable to you, and that cordial co-operation in the measures of the Government in weakening the enemy and in strengthening ourselves by enlisting colored troops, may exist between you. I have given him a short leave to visit his family before reporting for duty.
EDWIN M. STANTON.
FORT MONROE, VA., September 25, 1863-5 p. m.
(Received 5. 40 p. m.)
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
I have received your telegram of this day. I have already relieved General Naglee by Brigadier General Edward E. Potter, who is a first-class man for a position of this kind, and a determined friend to the Government. I propose to have the several districts of Virginia, Norfolk, and Portsmouth, Getty's line of defense, and Yorktown report to me directly. Brigadier-General Barnes to command Getty's line in place of Brigadier-General Getty, while the latter is absent on sick-leave, and then to command Yorktown. General Potter to command the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth, and Brigadier-