a retreat. Breckinridge's corps moved at 2 p.m. yesterday to Big Spring, beyond Martinsburg. Fitz Lee's cavalry is, I think, covering the retreat of the infantry. Saint James is still, I think, the best place for you to-night, as from that point you can reach any ford below Williamsport by direct route. I have sent reconnoitering party in direction of Martinsburg to find the enemy.
The general desires that you send small scouting parties across the river to-night to find out what the enemy are doing and where they are. He directs that your pickets connect with those of Averell on your right and with Custer's on your left; that you send patrolling and reconnoitering parties up to Dam No. 4, and keep a constant and watchful eye on all the fords on your front.
I remain, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS THIRD CAVALRY DIVISION,
August 27, 1864-11.30 p.m.
Commanding First Division:
Information from General Sheridan is that the enemy has fallen back. Please communicate with your regiment at the river, and have scouting parties sent at once. We are ordered to Shepherdstown, and shall move very early.
J. H. WILSON,
HEADQUARTERS MIDDLE MILITARY DIVISION,
Halltown, Va., August 27, 1864-7 p.m.
Brigadier General W. W. AVERELL,
Commanding Cavalry Division:
GENERAL: The indications are that the rebel army about leaving the Valley. As soon as you find such to be the case, join me via Martinsburg. I will follow them. General Wilson has been ordered to Shepherdstown Ford to join me, crossing there when my information is confirmed.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
P. H. SHERIDAN,
CUMBERLAND, August 27, 1864
Brigadier General W. W. AVERELL:
GENERAL: Yours per Colonel Moore was duly received. I regret I cannot comply with your request in regard to relieving the Eighth Ohio before the arrival of troops to take their place. The picket at Huttonsville, seventy strong, was surprised and captured on Wednesday morning last, which has produced great excitement and alarm in that part of the State. As soon as troops arrive I will relieve the detachment and send it forward at once. Please send up a courier daily on Hancock and keep me advised of the movements of the enemy. Telegraph line working to Hancock,
In haste, I am, yours, &c.
B. F. KELLEY,