moralized. I have been under command of General Averell since the expedition started, but have been without a written order on the subject. When I joined him I understood it to be only for the present expedition, and that when it should end my command would again be my own, subject to your orders only. This is now my great desire. I wish to be relieved from duty under General Averell, and to be ordered to report to you with my command. By going to Charleston I can rapidly reorganize my command, remount it, and put it in a state of efficiency for the field, which is my greatest desire.
You are aware that my command is scattered, a part yet remaining at Charleston dismounted. The men who are here are without clothing or shoes, the horses are worn down their equipments destroyed, and everything in bad condition. To refit my command here must cost the Government thousands of dollars for the necessary transportation, and it never can be done so well as otherwise. If horses are sent here to remount my command they will be worn down for want of care and attention by the time they arrive, whereas if I could command them and bring them here mounted they would come here in good condition.
Hoping for your early attention to, and a favorable consideration of, this application, very respectfully, &c.,
A. N. DUFFIE,
HEADQUARTERS ADVANCE, May 20, 1864.
[Captain P. G. BIER, Assistant Adjutant-General:]
CAPTAIN: Major Thorp reports: Did not go to Woodstock on account of flag of truce passing up this morning. There appears to be nothing in the Valley near Woodstock, except Gilmor, with about 60 men. It is reported that about 250 of Gilmor's force went across into Little Fort Valley last night. A woman near Woodstock, who is our friend, says she is informed from over the mountain that Early is in Powell's Fort Valley with 4,000 men. (Not very direct or reliable.) Infantry scout sent across the river last night went to top of the mountain; found a rebel signal station there abandoned; saw nothing on the other side. Saw on this side of the mountain and other side of the river seven cavalry vedettes. Major Thorp says that in addition to the party of 250 of Gilmor's men,which went to our left last night, another party of the same size, which he believes to be McNeill's, went up to our right the other since of the mountain. All quiet here and at the picket-posts.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
GEO. D. WELLS,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WEST VIRGINIA, Cedar Creek, Va., May 20, 1864.
Brigadier-General KELLEY, Cumberland:
Scouts sent out toward Moorefield returned from Wardensville this p.m., reporting no enemy in the direction of the former place, except McNeill's company, which is near Moorefield. Breckinridge