Richmond by the Fredericksburg route, checking his retreat over those lines, and he wishes to make everything subservient to that object. He desires that you keep yourself informed of the enemy's whereabouts and attack him wherever you find him. If, in you operations, an opportunity should present itself for you to detach a force to Charlottesville, which is almost unguarded, and destroy the depot of supplies said to be there, or along the Aquia Railroad in the direction of Richmond, to destroy the bridges, &c., or the crossing of the Pamunkey in the direction of West Point, destroying the ferries, felling trees to prevent or check the crossing, they will all greatly contribute to our complete success. You may rely upon the general being in connection with you before your supplies are exhausted. Let him hear from you as often as necessary and practicable.
A brigade of infantry will march to-morrow morning, at 8 o'clock, for Kelly's Ford, with one battery, and a regiment to the United States and Banks' Fords, to threaten and hold those places.
It devolves upon you, general, to take the initiative in the forward movement of this grand army, and on you and your noble command must depend in a great measure the extent and brilliancy of our success. Bear in mind that celerity, audacity, and resolution are everything in war, and especially is it the case with the command you have and the enterprise upon which you are about to embark.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
No. 2. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Charles G. Sawtelle, U. S. Army, Chief Quartermaster.
CAMP NEAR POTOMAC CREEK, VA., May 26, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit to you the following report of the operations of the quartermaster's department during the preparation and execution of the late cavalry expedition into the enemy's country of a portion of the Cavalry Corps, under Major-General Stoneman:
Owing, however, to the scattered condition of this corps since its return from the expedition referred to, it is at present impossible for me to give full and accurate information on all the points required by your letter of the 11th instant. Measures have been taken to procure this information, and it will be furnished in a supplemental report at the earliest practicable moment.
On the 13th of April, the cavalry command, consisting of [two brigades] and [two divisions] of cavalry, numbering 9,895 men, with four batteries of horse artillery [twenty-two 3-inch rifled guns], 427 men, started from its camp, near Falmouth, in the direction of Rappahannock Station, on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad. On leaving Falmouth, the command took with it six days' rations of subsistence and five days' rations of short forage, which was transported on the horses of the mounted men, on the pack-mules, and in the wagon supply trains, which were taken with the command for the forts two days. An extra supply train of two hundred and seventy-five wagons was sent to Bealeton Station by Lieutenant Colonel R. Ingalls, chief quartermaster,