you propose to assign the cavalry. In his opinion it will be necessary to keep at least one division on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, but unless that locality should afford greater advantages for recruiting horses than he is aware of, he would not, from its remoteness, be in favor of sending a larger force there at this time. He wishes that line to be made secure, and, in his opinion, it should be in the had of one division. If you should think proper, he will make no objections to having it strengthened by a light battery. The objection to Catlett's Station is also applicable to Dumfries. The main body of the cavalry must be nearer, and held well in hand and in readiness to spring at a moment's notice, in case of an enemy's raid or of an advance movement, of which probably not much notice will be given.
With regard to the unserviceable horses, the general has no objection to their transfer to the opposite side of the Potomac, but is should first be well ascertained whether or not it affords any advantages in the way of grazing over this side of the river, and if it should not, we should not incur the labor and expense of sending them there. Competent persons should be sent to examine that country.
So long as the fords of the Rappahannock and the line of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad are thoroughly picketed, it would appear that we ought not to be much annoyed by the enemy within; and if they should be troublesome, it can only proceed from the residents, and the general desires that they be made to understand that, unless they preserve order, he will treat them and theirs as enemies in arms against us, and that the most prompt and summary punishment will be inflicted on them. The residents must be made responsible for the preservation of good order in the districts in which they live.
The general desires that you will spare no labor to place the cavalry arm of the service in a high state of efficiency at the earliest practicable moment. He cannot but feel that the force of this arm has been greatly impaired from want of system, organization, and judicious employment. He enjoins upon you to require company officers to look after, and regimental officers to exact, the proper care and great ment of animals, and that their employment be confined to the demands of service. Every day bands of cavalry are to be seen all through the camps, and oftentimes abusing their animals by fast riding and neglect. This must be checked at once, or we never will have more than one-half of our cavalry in a serviceable condition.
Very respectfully, &c.,
CAMP NEAR FALMOUTH, VA.,
May 23, 1863.
Commanding Army of the Potomac:
GENERAL: I respectfully submit the following plan for a cavalry expedition, and ask, if should meet with your approval, permission to prepare and attempt it. The rebel cavalry are again feeling along our lines, probably to find a weak point to enter at as is their custom. If they should attempt a raid, this would offer a fine chance for a small body of our cavalry to penetrate their country, and I would respectfully ask in such case permission to have the Sixth U. S. Cavalry, and take the following course: Cross above on the Rappahannock and