Creek on the 5th, and taking with me upon the route the Sixtieth Ohio, a portion of the Eighth Virginia, a company of Indiana cavalry, and a body of men sent forward with baggage from Blenker's division, I proceeded toward Petersburg, arriving on the evening of the 7th.
General Schenck, who had been ordered early in April to advance from Romney and Moorefield, to operate on the road leading by Elkhorn to Franklin, in connection with movements with General Banks up the Shenandoah Valley, was already well in advance. Overcoming many obstacles in the form of swollen stems and difficult road, he had by the 6th of May reached Franklin.
Father to the front, and occupying McDowell, as mall village about 12 miles east from Monterey, was General Milroy. General Cox, in the district of the Kanawha also, under orders previously given, was moving in force in the direction of Lewisburg and Peterstown.
The command of General Kelley, posted to guard the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, as well as to watch and punish guerrillas, was necessarily left in rear. A small portion of his force, however, from the Potomac Home Brigade subsequently reported to me at Petersburg, under Lieutenant-Colonel Downey.
The Blenker division, though ordered on the 1st of April, had not so much as entered within the limits of my department until the 4th or 5th of May. Taking into view their ill-provided condition, as reported and set fourth in the foregoing, their delay upon the route was less a matter of surprise with myself than had been expressed to me in dispatches from the War Department.
Upon the 7th the brigade of General Stahel being reported at Romney and still in need of shoes, a supply was ordered from New Creek. The issue was made while the men were upon the road, companies halting for the moment to receive what could be spared them.
On the 9th of May the advance of General Blenker's division joined me at my camp near Petersburg, and by the 11th his whole command had arrived. The division was composed of there brigades, commanded respectively by Generals Stahel and Bohlen and Colonel Steinwehr. Assuming the data as then sent in, General Blenker stated his effective force at over 8,000. Subsequent investigation placed the number of men and officers actually present and fit for duty at considerably below 7,000.
The condition of the men, as exhibited upon review, was not such as could have been desired. The were worn and exhausted by hardships scarcely credible, and in spite of effects by myself an dithers to supply their wants, large proportion were without articles of first necessity for service in the field. Of shoes, blankets, and overcoats there was especially great need. Wagon and artillery teams, brought forward by the several batteries and regiments, were found on inspection to be very much jaded and weak from the long march and want of forage. The horses of a portion of the cavalry were so nearly starved and broken down as to be well nigh useless. The number of wagons was much be low the standard for supply on any lengthened route. By report of my medical director, afterward sent in, but about one-fifth of the necessary ambulances had been brought along. One regiment had none.
In the important matter of arms there was great deficiency, Belgina or Austrian muskets of old na indifferent patterns being carried by many of the regiments. Having fortunately at hand a superior lot of Enfield rifles, I was enabled to rearm the corps most needing them. Ammunition was also supplied as far as resources would then permit.
A pontoon train having been previously ordered from Pittsburgh upon