War of the Rebellion: Serial 082 Page 0017 Chapter LII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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HEADQUARTERS THIRD DIVISION, CAVALRY CORPS,

July 6, 1864.

I certify honor that the above is a correct and true copy of the circular issued to the command on the 21st of June, 1864, the day previous to our starting on the raid.

L. SIEBERT,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

[Inclosure Numbers 2.]

DIVISION INSPECTOR'S OFFICE,

HEADQUARTERS THIRD DIVISION, CAVALRY CORPS,

July 5, 1864.

Captain L. SIEBERT,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Third Div., Cavalry Corps:

CAPTAIN: For the information of the brigadier-general commanding this division I have the honor to submit the following report with reference to the order and conduct of this command, so far as my observation extended, during the time from the morning of the 22nd of June to the 2nd instant throughout the late expedition: The division moved from camp near Mount Sinai Church at 2 a.m. on the 22nd of June, and proceeded across the railroads south of Petersburg to Ford's Station, on the Danville and Petersburg Railroad, destroying the communication by rail and telegraph upon the Norfolk and the Weldon railroads; also destroying a portion of the track and all public buildings. At Ford's Station the destruction began in an extensive manner. The track and all public buildings and property were effectually destroyed along the line of railroad so far as the expedition proceeded. Every exertion on my part was made throughout the division to correct any violation of orders or disorder in the line of march. Much straggling was constantly observed and reported to the commanding officer of the division, and as straggling is the first step and the most prominent one toward other irregularities in a command upon a march, other violations might have occurred without being exposed to the notice of the division commander, or that of any other officer whose duty it was to correct them. Repeated verbal orders were given by the general commanding in regard to the regularity of the command. The division provost-marshal was actively engaged in the performance of his duties, but without a greater exertion on the part of the respective brigade and regimental commanders to prevent violations of orders it was impossible for him to perform his duties with any decided effect. With constant and rapid marching and short allowances of rest and forage for the horses it was consequent that many were exhausted, and men could not keep in the column but were obliged to straggle in rear. Many horses were shot by my direction to avoid the enemy receiving any benefit from them hereafter they being completely exhausted. Horse equipments were also destroyed and abandoned for want of transportation. The command arrived in camp on the 2nd instant, and since then every exertion is being made to secure all captured property, with a view of turning it in to the proper department in obedience to existing orders.

I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. P. RUSSELL,

Captain and Acting Assistant Inspector-General.

2 R R-VOL XL, PT III