will probably join him. If it is possible to cut the railroad between him and Lee, it would cut off his supplies and retard any junction of their armies. I do not think they will make any serious operations toward the Kanawha Valley at present.
H. W. HALLECK,
CUMBERLAND, MD., December 11, 1863.
(Received 11.30 a.m.)
Brigadier General G. W. CULLUM,
Chief of Staff:
I transmit the following telegram from Colonel Comly for the information of the General-in-Chief:
CHARLESTON, W. VA., December 10, 1863.
Captain Witcher, Third [West] Virginia Cavalry, wtih 50 men, has just returned from a scout through Wayne, Logan, and Boone Counties, bringing as prisoners 1 captain, 2 lieutenants, 1 quartermaster sergeant, and 14 men, and 30 pieces small-arms, having traveled 150 miles in three days, and returning without loss or injury to men. Lost 3 horses and equipments. Captain Witcher reports a considerable force organizing in the region of Abingdon for a raid in Kanawha Valley or Barboursville. He heard of the Lewisburg advance from prisoners captured, who informed him that a large force which had been on the way to join Longstreet was now returning to re-enforce Lewisburg. He reports plenty of grain and large quantities of fat cattle and hogs in Logan; says he could march 10,000 men through. Their roads good. The prisoners captured represent the following commands: Beckley's battalion, Fourteenth [Virginia Cavalry], Twenty-second [Virginia Cavalry], Twenty-sixth [Battalion Virginia Infantry], Thirty-fourth [Battalion Virginia Cavlry], Thirty-sixth [Battalion Virginia Cavalry], and Eighth Virginia Cavalry; Markhead's [?] battalion Kentucky cavalry and First Virginia State Line. General Scammon left Gauley last night.
JAMES M. COMLY,
I have no idea that the force reported to be concentrating at Abingdon contemplates an offensive movement into the Kanawha Valley.
B. F. KELLEY,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, December 12, 1863.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
GENERAL: I desire to call your attention to an important question, requiring immediate action on my part, but which I am undecided what measures to take first without ascertaining more definitely your views in regard to the position and movements of this army. The question I refer to is the re-enlistig me the authority to grant a thirty days' furlough to all volunteers re-enlisting as veteran volunteers under General Orders, No. 191, whenever the demand for the same will permit. It is in deciding the demands of the service that I am in doubt.
I inclose a statement of the number of men in the infantry regiments