The ridge spoken of heretofore as crossing and terminating the New Creek valley command it and the Potomac valley, forming a strong position. The southeastern summit is occupied by a work of moderately strong profile, the length of the interior crest being upward of 350 yards. This work sees the approach from the southward for upward of two miles, and also overlooks the valley of the Potomac. At the western extremity of the ridge is a one-gun epaulement, and some thirty or forty yards below it is a rifle-pit around this end, commanding the wood road referred to before; 600 or 900 men ought to hold the position against any party likely to be sent there by the enemy. The work is commanded from the top of the high hill about three-quarters of a mile to the eastward, but the approach to this hill is very difficult, and the enemy having attempted, in the fight of August 4, 1864, to occupy it, was, it is said, easily driven from it. This hill was formerly occupied by us, and a rifle-pit constructed part way down its southern slope. A road from the Potomac valley leading to the summit was then built by us along the northern slope. From portions of this hill a mountain road from Rommey to the east end of the Potomac valley is seen and well commanded. Extensive repairs are needed in the scarp revetment of the fort at New Creek. The forge should be close, leaving merely a passage to be obstructed when required by a barrier. The four iron guns (two 12-pounders, one 6-pounder, and a rifled ordnance gun) were spiked by the enemy in the late raid. This work might be strengthened by an abatis. A tracing made to show the battle-field of August 4 gives roughly the general features of the position.
C. SEAFORTH STEWART,
Major of Engineers.
Byt Brigadier General J. W. FORSYTH,
Chief of Staff.
No. 3. Report of Byt. Major General Benjamin F. Kelley, U. S. Army, commanding U. S. forces on railroad west of Hancock, Md.
HDQRS. FORCES ON RAILROAD WEST OF HANCOCK, MD.,
Cumberland, Md., December 7, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of this command from the 26th to the 29th ultimo:
Information having been received on the 25th ultimo that the commands of McNeill and Woodson, rebel partisans, were operating in the vicinity of Moorefield, Hardy Couty, Va., I directed Colonel G. R. Latham, Fifth West Virginia Cavalry, commanding at new Creek, to detach a portion of his force and attack, capture, or drive them off. To this end I instructed him to send a detachment up New Creek valley to approach Moorefield from the west, and another, via Rommey and the Grassy Lick road, to strike the Moorefield and Winchester turnpike and approach Moorefield from the east, both to arrive before the place at daylight on the morning of the 28th. The State troops of Pendleton County to the number of 150 were also directed to cross (from North Fork) the Fork Mountain and occupy South Fork, for the purpose of cutting off the enemy if he attempted to escape via Brock's Gap up South Fork val-