Washington, October 20, 1863-10 a. m.
Major-General COUCH, Chambersburg, Pa.:
Commanding officer at Harper's Ferry cannot countermand my orders. All of your troops were ordered to move down to the Potomac, in a position to re-enforce Harper's Ferry. It is believed that Stuart will make a cavalry raid into Maryland and Pennsylvania, while Lee will attempt to cut off or reduce Harper's Ferry.
H. W. HALLECK,
MARTINSBURG, VA., October 20, 1863.
(Received War Department 2. 15 p. m.)
Colonel SHARPE, Headquarters Army of the Potomac:
Mr. Patrick Cunningham has returned from Richmond. He arrived at Richmond on Sunday, the 11th. He remained in Richmond two nights and one day. He says, "There are no troops in or around Richmond, excepting what they call the 'Local Guard' of militia. " He also says that there are no troops passed from Lee to Bragg or Bragg to Lee, or from any other point to re-enforce Lee.
It is reported in Richmond that General Lee has the finest and the largest army he has ever had heretofore. This is the prevailing opinion of civilians and soldiers. There is no talk of Rosecrans or Charleston, but all eyes seem to be turned upon the army of Lee. They say that Lee will drive Meade into the fortifications around Alexandria and Washington, and again invade Maryland at the following points, viz, Leesburg, Poin of Rocks, and Berlin. He also states that there is a force under Imboden encamped on the Shenandoah River, in the neighborhood of White Post, and that White's and Mosby's guerrillas are within re-enforcing distance of Imboden; also Gilmore's and McNeill's. In connection with this he states that-
General Jones' command is posted in the gaps of the Blue Ridge to re-enforce either Imboden or Lee-the one that shall need his assistance first. There is a small rebel force under Jenkins and Jackson in the vicinity of Moorefield watching the Union troops under Averell. There is no rebel force between Richmond and Gordonsville, and none between Gordonsville and Staunton, and none between Staunton and Winchester. I did not see more than forty rebel wagons between Strasburg and Staunton, and they were employed hauling pig-iron to Richmond. There is a large drove of cattle, numbering about one thousand, for the use of the rebel army. They are grazing in the farm known as Steamburging's, situated between Mount Jackson and New Market. All the refugees who fled from the presence of the Union forces are returning down the valley with the expectation that the rebels will soon have possession of this country. I did not hear of any re-enforcements-that is, regular troops, joining Lee, or from Lee to any other point-that, is within the last three weeks, except conscripts. This is my honest statement, which I am willing to testify to before any magistrate.
HDQRS. THIRD Brigadier, THIRD CAV. DIV., DEPT. WEST VA.,
Charleston, October 20, 1863.
Captain J. L. BOTSFORD,
Asst. Adjt. General, Charleston, W. Va.:
SIR: I have the honor to state that I have received information from reliable Union men that there is a force of rebel cavalry, num-