degree of confusion. Although our attack was not as complete in the detail of its execution as had been designed, yet the enemy was constrained to retire with some little disorder, three miles south and in the direction of Bunker Hill. We moved in the direction of Williamsport that evening without molestation, and on the following day my division marched to Hagerstown, leaving guards upon the fords of the Potomac River embraced within the lines from Hancock to Dam Numbers 4.
During the day the enemy attempted to cross, but was checked. Since then my division has been engaged in keeping a careful watch at the several fords of the Potomac River from Hancock to the mouth of the Antietam Creek.
My casualties are severe in killed and wounded.
I am, captain, very respectfully,
WM. W. AVERELL,
Captain P. G. BIER,
Asst. Adjt. General, Department of West Virginia.
HEADQUARTERS SECOND CAVALRY DIVISION,
Hancock, Md., August 3, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of yesterday, inclosing a dispatch from Brigadier-General Kelley. This is the first communication I have received from your headquarters since the 28th July, I sent to you last night a report of my operations since that date. When I left Chambersburg I requested General Couth to notify General Kelley of the threatened movement of the enemy upon Cumberland and at McConnellsburg. On the morning of the 31st I notified General Kelley that I was driving the enemy in the direction of Hancook, and I had reason to hope when I attacked him at Hancock that between General Kelly's forces and my own he would be captured. Nothing but an iron-clad car and a company of National Guards appeared, which were driven away by the enemy's artillery. My artillery controlling the ford prevented his crossing, but with my small and worn-out command I could not prevent his escape by the Cumberland pike, upon which he kept up his flight during the night, felling trees and burning bridges in his rear, rendering pursuit with any chance of success impossible. I sent a messenger to Great Cacapon with a telegram to General Kelley, informing him of the course taken by the enemy, and requesting that a train of cars be sent to take up my command dismounted to Green Spring Run or Cumberland to assist in case of need, to which I receive the reply that my command was not needed.
I remained at this point for the following reasons:
First. The impassability of the road taken by the enemy and the impracticability of the Old Town road.
Second. The inability of my command to move, owing to the worn-out condition of my horses, and their want of shoes. The enemy was mounted upon good horses with which he had recently supplied himself. During the entire pursuit to this place, not a horse of the enemy had been abandoned, except when his rider had been killed or wounded, while 300 of mine had been left ten miles behind