is so scattered in the western portion of my department that I cannot concentrate any considerable force at once. May I, thereforce, suggest that two or three regiments of infantry be held in readiness to be sent from Washington or Baltimore to Sullivan, if necessary:
HARPER'S FERRY, W. VA., December 31, 1863-2.10 a.m.
Information from deserters and my own scouting party teaches me to think that General Early will make an attack on some point near us within twenty-four hours. He was at Strasburg, ane expected to reach Winchester to-night. Can Averell's forces be hurried here? Early is reported to be about 6,000 strong.
JER. C. SULLIVAN,
B. F. KELLEY,
CAMDEN STATION, Baltimore, Md., December 31, 1863.
Major General H. E. HALLEKC, General-in-Chief, and
Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:
General Sullivan has information that the enemy is at Winchester, under command of Early, and General Averell advise us to keep our rolling stock in hand to move if necessary. I trust the forces that can be concentrated will be sufficient to prevent the enemy destroying our communications. I know your interest in doing all that is possible for the protection of this important line.
J. W. GARRETT,
President Baltimor and Ohio Railroad.
WAR DEPARTMENT, December 31, 1863-3.45 p.m.
JOHN W. GARRETT, Esq.,
Please have your trains, &c., in readiness for rapid movement of troops from Washington and Baltimore west, if necessity should require. Suspend everything that may interfere with his object within the next twelve hours.
EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
WASHINGTON CITY, December 31, 1863-4 p.m.
Headquarters Army of the Potomac:
Has any intelligence of Early's movements been received since I left? General Kelley reports him advancing on Winchester with 6,000 men. Arrangements must be made and the necessary orders issued to have a division of cavalry and two divisions of the Sixth Corps ready to move at a moment's notice. Notify General Ingalls and Mr. Devereux to be ready to transport by rail from camp to Alexandria.
GEO. G. MEADE.