such parts of their trains as may be required, or without any trains. As the dispatches did not mention whether they would move by rail or into the Upper Valley of the Shenandoah from here, I gave directions that would meet both cases.
Plese let me know in regard to it, lest preparations for moving so many men by railroad might intefere with the transport of the brigade. It should not do so, but might.
General Merritt reports that 4 deserters (conscripts) from the Fifty-fourth North Carolina, Hoke's brigde, Early's division, came in to-day. They say they heard that part of Ewell's corps had gone to the Shenandoah Valley to winter, confirming the composition of Early's present command.
A. A. HUMPHREYS,
Major-General, and Chief of Staff.
WASHINGTON, December 31, 1863-11 p.m.
Chief of Staff, Hdqrs. Army of the Potomac:
Your two telegrams received. Later intelligence from General Kelley would show that Early had not advanced beyond Woodstock. I do not think the divisions of infantry will be required. The movements of the cavalry should be predicated on the information now sent; that is, ascertain whether Early contemplates or is making a raid on the Baltimore and Ohio Railway, or whether he is stationary between New Market and Woodstock. I shall leave for headquarters at 9 a.m. to-morrow, have my ambulance at the depot.
GEO. G. MEADE,
HEADQUARTERS FIRST ARMY CORPS, December 31, 1863.
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: The movement ordered by you yesterday, viz, the concentration of Robinson's division at Cedar Mountain, is unavoidably postponed until a change of weather. In the meantime, permit me to request that the cavalry should so picket and scout the roads leading from Madison Court-House and running to the north of Cedar Mountain, and likewise the roads from Raccon Ford, by which Cedar Mountain could be turned, as to give timely notice to commanding officer at the mountain of a movement of the enemy in force. General Pleasonton's instructions to his cavalry, based upon a previous disposition of the First Corps, might now require a slight modification, though an importance one,of his pickets. All I desire is that the commanding officer at Cedar Mountain my get timely notice, as the lookout on Cedar Mountain is useless in hazy weather.
38 R R-VOL XXIX, PT II