HEADQUARTERS SECOND CAVALRY DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF WEST VIRGINIA,
Martinsburg, W. Va., August 15, 1864.
LieutenantColonel J. W. FORSYTH,
Chief of Staff, Middle Military Division:
COLONEL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of yesterday directing me to remain at Harper's Ferry until further orders. My command arrived at this place last evening on its way to join the Middle Division in the field, losing twenty-six horses on its march from Hancock from exhaustion. About 600 mounted men have joined my command this morning from Harper's Ferry, making my command about 2,500 strong. One-third of my horses are totally unfit for further service at present, and would be abandoned should I continue my march at once from this place. I have made arrangements for obtaining 500 horses from Cumberland Valley and 500 from the West during the next three days, and I expect to be able to increase my command to 3,500 within the next five or six days. I am informed that no forage can be obtained from the East at Harper's Ferry, and, as forage can be furnished from the West, I shall remain here unless the major-general commanding particularly desires my command at Harper's Ferry. The repair of the railroad and telegraph will probably be competed in two days. The worn-out condition of one-third of my horses was not caused by want of forage or care, but results solely from the fact that they have marched 1,700 miles since the 1st of May without rest. A large number require shoeing. The facilities for remounting, refitting, and drilling are much better here than at Harper's Ferry. I shall, therefore, remain here until further orders endeavor to be ready for the field in five or six days.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. W. AVERELL,
OFFICE MIDDLE MILITARY DIVISION, Harper's Ferry, August 15, 1864.
Brigadier General W. W. AVERELL,
Commanding Division, Martinsburg:
GENERAL: Your communication of yesterday I have received. I will do what I can toward sending the mounted men of your command now here to you at Martinsburg, in compliance with your request.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
CUMBERLAND, August 15, 1864.
General Sheridan has countermanded the order in regard to the Eighth Ohio Cavalry; the detachment will remain at Beverly till further orders.
B. F. KELLEY,