SPECIAL ORDERS, WAR DEPT., ADJT. GENERAL'S OFFICE, No. 273. Washington, August 17, 1864.
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40. The following assignment of signal officers is hereby made: Captain O. H. Howard, to the command of the signal detachment, Department of West Virginia.
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By order of the Secretary of War:
E. D. TOWNSEND,
SPECIAL ORDERS, HDQRS. DEPT. OF WEST VIRGINIA, No. 150. Berryville, Va., August 17, 1864.
The regiments of Ohio National Guard [100-days' men] now serving in this department will be sent to Columbus, Ohio, to be mustered out of service as rapidly as their respective terms expire. The quartermaster's department will be directed to furnish the necessary transportation.
By order of Brevet Major-General Crook:
P. G. BIER,
HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DISTRICT OF HARPER'S FERRY, Harper's Ferry, W. Va., August 17, 1864.
Commanding Middle Military Division:
SIR: I assumed command last night. Finding all trains threatened by guerrillas, and that they are in force, largely increased by a concentration of several organizations under Mosby, making the vicinity of Charlestown their theater of operations, I am of opinion that the only safety to our trains and couriers is the posting a force at Charlestown, with General Duffie at Berryville, and 1,000 of Averell's force at Charlestown, with orders by constant scouting to keep the country clear. I think we can send forward everything without loss. As matters now stand no small party or train with small guard is safe. I have written to General Averell requesting him to occupy Charlestown with 1,000 men and one section of artillery, unless his orders are peremptory from General Torbert to remain at Martinsburg. If he does so it will render all communication perfectly secure. Nothing but gross carelessness will enable the enemy to interfere. If you have use for Averell, a force should be provided for Charlestown. The quartermaster, Captain Gardner, informs me that by Saturday night he can have trains running to that point, and will therefore save twenty-four miles to our trains, avoiding the heavy hills between this post and that point. Should your purposes embrace the using of Charlestown as your instructions in regard to this post are being carried out, and perhaps a few days will cure existing evils.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN D. STEVENSON,