NEAR SPOTSYLVANIA COURT-HOUSE, May 20, 1864.
Major-General HALLECK, Washington, D. C.:
In regard to the operations it is better for General Hunter to engage in, with the disposable force at his command, I am a little in doubt. It is evident that he can move south, covering the road he has to guard, with a larger force than he can spare to be removed to re-enforce armies elsewhere. Then, too, under the instructions of General Sigel, Crook was to get through to the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, cut New River bridge, and move eastward to Lynchburg, if he could; if not, to Fincastle, Staunton, and down the Shenandoah Valley. Sigel was to collect what force he could spare from the railroad, and move up the Valley with a supply train to meet him. The enemy are evidently relying for supplies greatly on such as are brought over the branch road running through Staunton. On the whole, therefore, I think it would be better for General Hunter to move in that direction; reach Staunton and Gordonsville, or Charlottsville, if he does not meet too much opposition. If he can hold at bay a force equal to his own he will be doing good service.
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U. S. GRANT,
MARTINSBURG, May 20, 1864.
(Received 10.30 p. m.)
ADJUTANT-GENERAL U. S. ARMY:
I have the honor to report my arrival at this point. All quiet.
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY DIVISION, Numbers 3.
DEPARTMENT OF WEST VIRGINIA, Bungler's Mills, May 20, 1864.
General Duffie will keep a squadron constantly patrolling the road from Frankford to Lewisburg, and will watch all the fords on the Greenbrier between those two places. Colonel Oley will remain with his command at Lewisburg, and hold the fords at the burnt bridge. Colonel Schoonmaker will picket and hold the fords from the burnt bridge to Alderson's Ferry. By order of Brigadier-General Averell:
HEADQUARTERS THIRD BRIGADE CAVALRY,
Near Lewisburg, W. Va., May 20, 1864.
Captain JAMES L. BOTSFORD,
A. A. G., Third Division, Dept. of West Virginia:
SIR: I have the honor to make the following statements: During the movements of the last twenty days my command has been almost entirely broken down from lack of rations, being obliged to obtain supplies from the country, and, owing, to the scattered condition of my brigade, it has become very much disorganized and de-