HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, December 21, 1863-1 p.m.
(Received 2 p.m.)
Scouts just in, state it was reported at Orange Court-House that Averell had been into Staunton, burning the depot and doing other damage to the railroad, and that he had beaten Imboden and Jenkins. On receipt of this intelligence, Fitzhugh Lee's and Wickham's brigades of cavalry, with seven batteries of artillery, were sent to Albemarle County; they were traced as far as Stony Point, and are believed to have gone to Staunton. No other movements of troops reported; rebel soldiers said it was expected Longstreet would return to Lee's army.
GEO. G. MEADE,
CUMERLAND, MD., December 21, 1863-11 p.m.
(Received 6.50 a.m., 22d.)
Chief of Staff:
Brigadier-General Sullivan reports that he has just received information that Fitzhugh Lee's cavalry were crossing at Berry's Ferry, on Saturday, and that two brigades of infantry were crossing at Front Royal. I hink this information is doubtful, but if true General Meade can certainly prevent their safe return east of the blue Ridge.
B. F. KELLEY,
WAR DEPARTMENT, December 21, 1863-8.50 p.m.
Major General BENJMAIN F. BUTLER,
Fort Monroe, Va.:
You have subjoined an order of this Department, placing the county of Saint Mary's, in Maryland, and the counties of Northampton and Accomac, in Virginia, under your command, as a part of the Department of Virginia. You will please assume command immediately, and direct the commandant of the prisoiners' camp at Point Lookout to report to you. It is deemed expedient that you make an immediate inspection of that post, with the view to ascertain its security against any effort of the prisoners to escape, or of the rebels to aid them in that purpose. You will communicate a copy of the order to Brigadier-General Marston, commanding at Point Lookout, and acknowledge the receipt of this telegram.
By order of the Secretary of War:
ED. R. S. CANBY,
Brigadier-General, and Assistant Adjutant-General.
WAR DEPARTMENT, December 21, 1863.
Ordered, that the county of Saint Mary's,in the State of Maryland, and the counties of Northampton and Accomac, in the State of Virginia,