War of the Rebellion: Serial 090 Page 0857 Chapter LV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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accepted the invitation as yet. I will probably to-morrow learn something of their strength and intentions. Averell this morning moved from Shepherdstown on a stampeding report, and without orders. I don't yet know where he went, but by his movement gives unnecessary alarm. I hope to be able to manage this affair. The enemy do not know exactly what to do, and appear to be in doubt. Can you be certain of what has come here? Taking all the reports which reach me, they are very unsatisfactory.

P. H. SHERIDAN,

Major-General.

CHARLESTOWN, W. VA., August 20, 1864-10 p.m.

(Received 3 a.m. 21st.)

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Chief of Staff:

I have nothing new to report to-night in reference to the intention of the enemy. General Averell, who was at Martinsburg, moved to Shepherdstown and uncovered the Williamsport crossing. This was satisfactory to me. This morning he reported a brigade of Fitz Lee's cavalry at Martinsburg, but this was an error. There is no enemy north of Bunker Hill. To-day, for some unknown reason and without necessity, he moved from Shepherdstown somewhere without informing me-perhaps to Hagerstown-giving unnecessary alarm by his movement.

P. H. SHERIDAN,

Major-General.

CHARLESTOWN, W. VA., August 20, 1864-10 p.m.

(Received 3 a.m. 21st.

Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

General Averell is the senior to General Torbert, my chief of cavalry. This causes a difficulty which can but ve overcome by conferring the rank of brevet on Torbert. Will you have the kindness to do so?

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

P. H. SHERIDAN,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS MIDDLE MILITARY DIVISION,

August 20, 1864. (Received 3.30 a.m. 21st.)

Major T. T. ECKERT:

The following dispatch* was sent to General Halleck in cipher from Cedar Creek to Harper's Ferry. Was it received by you and delivered? The party that carried it is supposed to have been captured by guerrillas.

JAS. W. FORSYTH,

Lieutenant-Colonel and Chief of Staff.

(Answered that it was not received.)

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*See Sheridan to Halleck, August 16, p. 811.

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