HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, May 22, 1864-9.30 p. m.
I am directed to say that the instructions sent to you this evening requiring you to send the recruits of your command to Bowling Green to-morrow morning, there to be replaced by veteran dismounted men, are suspended; and the commanding general directs that you cause an officer of your command to report at these headquarters punctually at 5 a. m. to-morrow, to receive special instructions for your quidance.
HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES, Guiney's Station, Va., May 22, 1864-9 a. m.
Brigadier General J. J. ABERCROMBIE,
Commanding, &c., Fredericksburg, Va.:
GENERAL: Have all empty teams that have returned to Fredericksburg and Belle Plain loaded with supplies, and send them forward with such supply trains as are now at these places to Bolwing Green at once. Transfer without delay all other supplies to Port Royal, which will be made our base until further orders. March the garrisons at Belle Plain and Fredericksburg by the Port royal road to Port Royal, leaving, however, a sufficient force at Fredericksburg to protect the wounded and transportation for same until they can be moved north, after which the force thus left will follow to Port Royal, and Fredericksburg abandoned.
By command of Lieutenant-General Grant:
JNO. A. RAWLINS,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS, Belle Plain, Va., May 22, 1864.
Brigadier General JOHN A. RAWLINS,
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that, form information derived from my cavalry scouts and contrabands daily arriving here, I have reason to believe that there are more guerrillas between this point and Port Royal than the small cavalry force at my disposal can look after, having ;but six companies of the Eighth Illinois Cavalry, which, after deducting messengers, escorts, details for the engineers, telegraph, road and brigade construction, leaves me with a comparatively small force for other purposes. If I had mounted troops sufficient to clear the country between Rappahannock and Potomac Creek of these marauders and arrest all disloyal persons, a small cavalry force could then (with due diligence) keep them out. All the cavalry that I can send out with safety to the depot are constantly employed (notwithstanding their excursions extend but a few miles in circuit), scarcely ever returning without having a skirmish with, and bringing in from 2 to 8 dismounted cavalry.
I have the honor to be, yours, respectfully,
J. J. ABERCROMBIE,