War of the Rebellion: Serial 090 Page 0719 Chapter LV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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HARRISBURG, PA., August 6, 1864-8.30 p. m.

(Received 10 p. m.)

Major-General HALLECK,

Chief of Staff:

Scouts again report the number of rebels that crossed at Williamsport yesterday not less than 6,000, and are encamped in the vicinity of Antietam battle-ground. No report from my scouts below Morgantown, W. Va.

D. N. COUCH,

Major-General.

GENERAL ORDERS,

WAR DEPT., ADJT. GENERAL'S OFFICE, No. 240.

Washington, August 7, 1864.

1. The Middle Department and the Departments of Washington, of the Susquehanna, and of West Virginia will constitute the Middle Military Division.

2. Major General P. H. Sheridan is assigned by the President to the temporary command of the Middle Military Division.

* * * *

By order of the Secretary of War:

E. D. TOWNSEND,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

WASHINGTON CITY, D. C., August 7, 1864-12 m.

Major-General SHERIDAN,

Commanding, &c.:

Do not hesitate to give commands to officers in whom you repose confidence, without regard to claims of others on account of rank. If you deem Torbert the best man to command the cavalry, place him in command and give Averell some other command, or relieve him from the expedition, and order him to report to General Hunter. What we want is prompt and active movements after the enemy in accordance with instructions you already have. I feel every confidence that you will do the very best, and will leave you as far as possible to act on your own judgment, and not embarrass you with orders and instructions.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

WASHINGTON, D. C., August 7, 1864-12.15 p. m.

Major-General SHERIDAN,

Commanding, &c., Harper's Ferry, Va.:

The Departments of Washington, the Middle, the Susquehanna, and of Western Virginia, have been formed into a military division called the Middle Division, and you have been assigned to the temporary command. Orders will be sent to you by mail at once. You can assume command without further authority.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.