War of the Rebellion: Serial 040 Page 0228 Chapter XXXVII. N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA.

Search Civil War Official Records

been complied with, and whether any necessity existed for your brigade to draw supplies from General Stoneman's command.

Very respectfully, &c.,


Assistant Adjutant-General.


April 18, 1863-9 a. m.

Commanding Officer, Cavalry Corps:

I am directed by the major-general commanding to inform you that the difficulty of supplying your command in its present position, in addition to other reasons, renders in necessary for you resume your forward moment at the earliest practicable moment. you must hold your troops and your supplies in readiness to this end. When you leave, it should be with supplies for six days, and these must not be distributed among other commands on any consideration whatever. The corps commander to which the infantry in your vicinity belong was duly instructed to attend to their supplies, and they must obtain them from their own depots, and, in addition to keeping the brigade near you supplied, he this morning been instructed to send forward without delay a sufficient quantity of actions and forage to replace those drawn by the infantry from your command. This should give two days' supply remaining of those you were directed to march from camp with. It was intended to forward you to-day five days' additional rations and forage, but if, as reported by your quartermaster, your have 12,000 men and 17,000 animals, it will fall short of that estimate. The general is of opinion that the quartermasters overestimates your strength, and in order that there may be no errors in providing for your command, it is requested that this office be furnished with an exact return of your men and animals. A request for you to forward this return was addressed you yesterday. We must have position and exact information on this subject.

The general has been informed that some of your divisions left camp with not only the wagons which belonged to the men of the marching column, but also with those which were intended for the supply of the men left in camp. If this has been the case, it is presumed that they were taken for temporary service, and will be returned, for wagons can only embarrass you raid. The general is also apprehensive that you have more artillery that can be of service to you in a rapid movement, but of that you must decide. You may find it expedition to return some of the latter to camp, and also any portion of your force that is not in condition to be of service to you in your forward movement.

No evidence exists here that the enemy has made any change in the disposition of his forces from the United States Ford down the river in consequence of your movement. your delay in consequence of the storm may enable him to bring up a small force to dispute the passage of the river. It can only be a small one, and must be knocked out of the way. He cannot have sufficient force to defend all the fords at the same time.

The major-general commanding directs that you bear in mind that a part of your route lies along the line over which the enemy receives his supplies, and it may be with reason expected that some portion of them will fall into your hands. From the character of your movement, it should not be expected that you will be provided with full rations every hour in the day. Such never has been and never will be the case.