HARPER'S FERRY, W. VA., August 7, 1864-5.45 p. m.
His Excellency A. LINCOLN,
President of the United States:
In sending the rebel citizens and their families beyond our lines I was obeying the order* of Lieutenant-General Grant, communicated through General Halleck, your Chief of Staff. With several thousand wealthy rebel spies in our midst, constantly sending information and supplies to the enemy, and pointing out Union men to their vengeance, it is impossible to conduct the affairs of any department successfully. I must humbly beg that I may be relieved from command of the Department of West Virginia.
HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,
Washington, D. C., August 1864.
General Grant directs that Brigadier-General Howe and staff return to Washington and report to General Augur. Please order accordingly.
H. W. HALLECK,
Major-General and Chief of Staff.
CUMBERLAND, MD., August 7, 1864.
Captain THAYER MELVIN:
I have reported for duty by letter to-day.
J. C. SULLIVAN,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF WEST VIRGINIA, No. 63.
Harper's Ferry, W. Va., August 7, 1864.
Colonel William B. Tibbits, Twenty-first New York Cavalry, commanding First Brigade, First Cavalry Division, having been highly complimented by his division commander for "gallantry in action and efficiency under all circumstances in the field," and having been recommended as a competent, faithful, and gallant officer, worthy of promotion to the rank of brigadier-general of U. S. Volunteers, the major-general commanding takes pleasure in commending to the command the conduct of Colonel Tibbits and in approving the recommendation for his promotion.
By command of Major-General Hunter:
P. S. BIER,
*See Halleck to Hunter, July 17, Vol. XXXVII, Part II, p. 366.