HDQRS. CAVALRY CORPS, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Reedy Swamp, Va., May 24, 1864-5 p.m.
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: I have the honor to report my command at Reedy Swamp, about 5 miles from Chesterfield. Not knowing the rebel army had fallen back, I crossed my command over the Pamunkey River, on the railroad bridge at the White House yesterday; camped near Dunkirk last night; this morning I followed the sound of your artillery. Early in the day head that General Lee had been beaten and driven back to Hanover Junction. On the 21st General Custer destroyed two bridges on the Central Virginia Railroad, and some distance of the track near Hanover Court-House. On the same day Generals Gregg and Wilson drove the enemy's cavalry across the Chickahominy, about 5 miles from Richmond; they would not, however, stand to fight. I then drew my command back to the White House, where supplies were sent me from Fort Monroe. My great difficulty has been about forage and subsistence. I supposed there would be plenty between the Pamunkey and Mattapony Rivers, but found myself mistaken. General Custer reported Breckinridge's command on the railroad when he cut it. I have further evidence of his arrival from the valley; also, that troops have been passing through Richmond for the last three days to re-enforce Lee. It is probable that some of them are from Drewry's Bluff. I shall march to Chesterfield in the morning, unless I receive orders to the contrary. I have one day's rations for my men; no forage for my horses.
P. H. SHERIDAN,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, May 24, 1864-5.20 p.m.
The commanding general directs that you picket with your command all the roads leading north and west from Mount Carmel Church, and to cover the road to Milford, where the supply trains now are. The Thirteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, under the command of Major Kerwin - the headquarters of which regiment are at New Bethel Church-is placed under your orders, and also a detachment of cavalry commanded by Major Forsyth, Eighth Illinois, which is supposed to be picketing the roads leading in a southerly direction. You can reach Major Kerwin at Bethel Church, and Major Forsyth's location will be communicated to you as soon as it can be ascertained. The Fifth New York Cavalry will probably be returned to you tonight. The commanding general wishes you to establish your headquarters near his own, until the return of General Sheridan. General headquarters to-night will be in the vicinity of Jericho Mills.