this brigade, it is supposed, crossed at the Shepherdstown Ford. I cannot say whether or not the enemy will attempt to cross in nthe morning; they must be very strong to do so. My information is that Early marched with that intention, but reports are very unreliable. The enemy are in very strong force. I will not give up this place, and hope to be able to strike the enemy divided. I hardly think that they will attempt to go to Washington.
P. H. SHERIDAN,
HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES,
Washington, D. C., August 25, 1864.
Middle Military Division:
Scouts report that no troops had moved to or from the Valley up to Tuesday night, 23rd. Rebels are hauling considerable grain from Beaver Dam Station. All information brought here by scouts is communicated to you.
GEO. K. LEET,
[AUGUST 25, 1864. - For Sheridan to Halleck, reporting operations, &c., see p. 21.]
CIRCULAR.] HEADQUARTERS MIDDLE MILITARY DIVISION,
Near Halltown, Va., August 25, 1864.
Corps and other independent commanders will keep their commands constantly supplied with three days' rations in haversacks, upon which rations the men of the several commands may be required to subsist four days.
By command of Major-General Sheridan:
JAS. W. FORSYTH,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Chief of Staff.
HARPER'S FERRY, August 25, 1864
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I desire to submit a few observations with regard to the present military status here.
When General Sheridan received General Grant's dispatch informating him of Early's re-enforcement and directing him to assume a defensive attitude, the design of further pursuit and giving Early battle somewhere in the Valley had not been relinquished by General Sheridan, but was about being vigorously executed. The position at Cedar Creek, though strong in the immediate line of battle front, was a most indefensible one, nevertheless, as numerous gaps through both ranges of mountains opened ready ingress to the enemy in our rear, and, besides, was flankable on the right of the road leading down the base of the mountains west of the Valley and protected on the east by Cedar Creek and a heavy growth of timber. With all these