from utter exhaustion. When the head of my column attacked the enemy at this place, the enemy numbered about 3,000; I had but 1,000, and although I drove him, killing and wounding 15, I could not capture him without the assistance I had expected. I am not permitted to take horses, and I have not received a fresh supply. The enemy, clearing the country in his front, left nothing for me in his rear. Had the road been open, I could have gone no farther without rendering the pursuit ruinous to my command and fruitless.
Third. Until it was known to me what course the enemy had taken after encountering General Kelley's forces this was the best point for me to occupy. If he defeated General Kelley, and continued westward by taking the Bedford turnpike and impressing horses, I could again reach him upon his right flank. If he turned southward, either from defeat or success, he would probably move in the direction of Winchester, when I would have a chance of intercepting him after resting here.
Fourth. In my attack at McConnellsburg, a portion of the enemy-from 200 to 500-were cut off and scattered, and are now endeavoring to reach the river. The available force of one of my brigades has been and is engaged in trying to intercept them.
I have detailed the most prominent rebel sympathizers in this country, and send them under guard to cut out the blockade and rebuild the bridges on the Cumberland pike. Telegraphic communication with General Kelley has been interrupted. Since yesterday at 11 a. m. I have sent couriers, patrols, a hand car, and a locomotive to obtain information of the operations near Cumberland, and the direction taken by the enemy, if he has escaped. The latest intelligence I have received is that he is coming down the river.
I have the honor to request that you will lay the above report, with the inclosed dispatches, before the major-general commanding the department, and that they be sent to the War Department, together with my report of yesterday. I cannot believe that they are fully informed of the condition of my command at Washington, if they expect me to overtake and capture a force double my own and better mounted. If such is their expectation, it is impossible that they can know that this command has marched 1,400 miles since the 1st of May, without a remount, and without a half sufficiently long to set the shoes on my horses.
WM. W. AVERELL,
Captain T. MELVIN,
Itinerary of the Second Cavalry Division, Department of West Virginia, Brigadier General William W. Averell commanding, July 2-31.*
July 17 to 22.-Reached Martinsburg by rail.
July 20.-Defeated Ramseur's division at Stephenson's Depot, capturing 4 guns and 250 prisoners.
July 22 and 23.-Slightly engaged.
July 24.-Battle of Winchester; division retired to Martinsburg, covering the rear of the Army of West Virginia.
* From return for July, 1864.