War of the Rebellion: Serial 090 Page 0891 Chapter LV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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the enemy's line. I sent out a strong reconnoitering party beyond Duffield's Station to watch their movements. Having no map, I cannot say whether the Halltown road is picketed or not by me; but what I can say is, that all the roads on my front are picketed, and there is no fear of surprise to be entertained in my direction. All is quiet here. As soon as the reconnoitering party returns I will communicate any further information.

I remain, very respectfully,

DI CESNOLA,

Colonel, Commanding Second Brigade.

AUGUST 23, 1864-12.05 p.m.

Brigadier-General Merritt,

Commanding Division:

I have inspected the whole line of my pickets which extends nearly six miles, but I could not see a single rebel in front of the line even with a good field-glass, so my supposition is that if there was any force in front of me it has left for some other point. The line as it is requires 400 men to make it efficient, and it would require two regiments to picket it, which I cannot very well do; but if General Custer's pickets would extend more toward the Charlestown road it would be very convenient to me. I was on the spot when the pickets of Custer began to drive those of the enemy on the Winchester pike, and remained there until all was quiet. My command has received three days' rations and two days' forage.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, yours,

DI CESNOLA,

Colonel, Commanding Second Cavalry Brigade.

HEADQUARTERS MIDDLE MILITARY DIVISION,

Halltown, Va., August 23, 1864-1.30 p.m.

Brigadier General J. H. WILSON,

Commanding Third Cavalry Division:

GENERAL: The major-general commanding directs that your order one brigade of your division to make a reconnaissance toward Charlestown. The general does not desire that the force sent out should become engaged; he simply desires information of the whereabouts of the enemy and his movements. This should have been sent through General Torbert, but his headquarters are so far off that the party could not be sent out to-day. Please notify General Torbert that you are sending out the party above named.

Very respectfully,

JAS. W. FORSYTH,

Lieutenant-Colonel and Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS THIRD CAVALRY DIVISION,

Near Harper's Farm, August 23, 1864-7.45 p.m.

Lieutenant-Colonel FORSYTH,

Chief of Staff:

COLONEL: General McIntosh has returned, having gone by Zoar Church to within half a mile of the mill at Flowing Spring, head of Halltown, where he found the enemy's pickets and indications of a