War of the Rebellion: Serial 090 Page 0925 Chapter LV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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HEADQUARTERS MIDDLE MILITARY DIVISION,

Halltown, August 26, 1864-12 noon.

Brigadier General W. W. AVERELL,

Commanding Cavalry Division:

GENERAL: If the enemy's cavalry cross at Williamsport, Wilson and yourself had better unite; Wilson is at one of the lower crossings of Antietam. You would then be strong enough to take care of the enemy's cavalry until I could get Merritt's division with you. I will send it as soon as I learn they are crossing, and I will depend on information from you. All quiet here.

Very respectfully,

P. H. SHERIDAN,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS MIDDLE MILITARY DIVISION,

Halltown, August 26, 1864-11.40 p.m.

Brigadier General W. W. AVERELL, Commanding Cavalry Division:

GENERAL: I am instructed by the major-general commanding to inform you that all your dispatches* of to-day have been received, and that he is exceedingly obliged to you for the promptitude with which you have forwarded him information. Fitz Lee and Breckinridge's forces are between Shepherdstown and Charlestown; the general thinks of the two, nearer the latter place. General Sheridan does not think that the cavalry (enemy's) will cross, but wants you to watch all the fords well, and if they do cross forward him early information. General Wilson when last heard from was at or near Boonsborough; he has been directed to act in concert with you, and in case Lee crosses General Sheridan wants you to fight him and clean him out. In case of necessity, Merritt's division will be sent over to assist you.

Mudwall Jackson's command was crushed at Shepherdstown to-day.

Respectfully,

JAS. W. FORSYTH,

Lieutenant-Colonel, &c.

HEADQUARTERS THIRD CAVALRY DIVISION,

Boonsborough,[Md.] August 26, 1864-4 p.m.

Brigadier-General AVERELL, Hagerstown:

GENERAL: I've just received orders from General Torbert directing me to move to vicinity of Sharpsburg and hold the Shepherdstown fords; the same order directs Custer to hold Antietam Ford, and also that I shall communicate this order to you. I have further heard, however, through the Fifth New York Cavalry, of my command, now at Keedysville, that the enemy had finally succeeded in crossing above Williamsport, and that you expected to fight him near Hagerstown. If this be the case we should concentrate and clean out Fitzhugh Lee and then look to observing the movements of other forces. I can march from here by 5 p.m. Am now issuing forage and rations. Please say the word and I'll come to you, unless other imperative orders should be received.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. H. WILSON

Brigadier-General.

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*Not found.

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