War of the Rebellion: Serial 049 Page 0556 OPERATIONS IN N.C., VA.,W.VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLI.

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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,

General-in-Chief.

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 MELVIN,

Assistant Adjutant-General:

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,

Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.

I have no idea that the force reported to be concentrating at Abingdon contemplates an offensive movement into the Kanawha Valley.

B. F. KELLEY,

Brigadier-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, December 12, 1863.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief:

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