HEADQUARTERS MIDDLE MILITARY DIVISION,
Halltown, W. Va., August 27, 1864.
Brevet Major-General EMORY,
Commanding Nineteenth Army Corps:
General Crook has pushed out his skirmish line to nearly where the enemy's guns were yesterday; push forward yours, with supports, and find if the enemy have withdrawn their skirmish line in your front.
P. H. SHERIDAN,
HEADQUARTERS THIRD CAVALRY DIVISION,
Boonsborough, August 27, 1864-3 a.m.
Chief of Staff:
COLONEL: Lieutenant Noyes, of my staff, has just returned from Averell, at Hagerstown, and reports that up to dusk last night no rebels had crossed the river anywhere. I send you a note* from A[verell] dated 6.40 p.m. Noyes came back by Sharpsburg. Colonel Hammond, at midnight, reported all quiet at Shepherdstown. Noyes saw him and says there are no indications of a crossing by the rebels. The fords are strongly watched, and any attempt would be vigorously met. I shall move at daylight and in accordance with previous instructions, having heard nothing from you or General Torbert since yesterday morning. The river had raised six inches last night; it has raised a good deal here.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. H. WILSON,
HEADQUARTERS THIRD DIVISION, CAVALRY CORPS,
On Hagerstown Pike, near Mercersville, August 27, 1864.
Chief of Staff, General Sheridan:
A company of infantry has just passed here belonging to the Thirty-fourth Ohio, of which the commanding officer reports that he was cut off at the Back Creek bridge the day before yesterday by a force of rebel cavalry about 400 in number. He states that in order to prevent the capture of himself and company he crossed the Potomac and is now returning to his command at Harper's Ferry. He says the bridge was burnt about half an hour after he had left. I have just received a note from General Averell, dated 1 p.m., in which he says the enemy's cavalry has withdrawn from the river at Williamsport and above, that a detachment of his crossed at Dam No. 5 last night, discovering indications of a retreat. Breckinridge's corps moved yesterday at 2 p.m. to Big Spring, beyond Martinsburg, covered, he thinks, by Fitz Lee's cavalry. The general further says that he has sent a reconnoitering party in the direction of Martinsburg to find the enemy. I shall start similar parties at once.
J. H. WILSON,