position in the vicinity of the mouth of Antietam Creek. Report your arrival to Generals Sheridan, Merritt, and these headquarters. General Merritt is for the present on the right of the infantry. The brigadier-general commanding also desires me to extend his congratulations to you in getting your command across the river.
M. A. RENO,
Captain and Chief of Staff.
(Copy to General Merritt.)
HEADQUARTERS FIRST BRIGADE, FIRST DIVISION,
August 26, 1864-3 p.m.
Commanding Cavalry Corps:
GENERAL: I have the honor to report the arrival at this point (Antietam Creek) of my command. I had a severe engagement with the enemy yesterday near Shepherdstown. The enemy attempted to cut me off from the fords, but were unsuccessful. My command crossed at Boteler's Ford in as good order as if marching from parade; I did not see a single straggler. The enemy made desperate efforts to capture Ransom's guns, but were foiled. My loss is quite small, considering the circumstances.
G. A. CUSTER,
Please send this to General Merritt.
HEADQUARTERS THIRD CAVALRY DIVISION,
Boonsborough, August 26, 1864-5.20 p.m.
GENERAL: I have received an order, a copy of which I sent you several hours ago, directing me to hold the Shepherdstown fords, but since them I have heard through the Fifth New York that Averell had not succeeded in preventing the rebels crossing at Williamsport, and had fallen back with the view of fighting at Hagerstown. In view of these facts I have thought it best not to go to Shepherdstown, but to hold myself in readiness to support Averell by marching rapidly to Hagerstown and forming a junction with him. I have sent through an officer to communicate with him, and directed the Fifth New York to watch the fords. If the enemy has already crossed, the first thing is to whip him, and if we all go at him together Lee hasn't got cavalry enough in this portion of the country to withstand us. I hope you got off yesterday evening without any serious loss.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. H. WILSON,