to prepare his command and report when they will be ready. Two divisions of the Second Corps will be put this afternoon on the work of leveling the enemy's old works.
GEO. G. MEADE.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC.
July 14, 1864-5.30 p.m.
General Sheridan reports he can have 9,000 men ready to start on the 16th. What force of infantry should accompany him, and how far do you think the infantry ought to go? Do you propose Sheridan should attempt the destruction of any other road than the Weldon, or do you desire the Danville and Lynchburg also both cut?
GEO. G. MEADE,
CITY POINT, July 14, 1864 (Received 7.20 p.m.)
If Sheridan succeeds in getting to Weldon or near there, I did not suppose he would be able to get to the Danville road. If he could, however, and could follow the road up to Danville, and south of it, making the destruction of both roads sufficient to last for a month or two, it would be a good thing. In starting out such parties a wide discretion must be given to commanding officers. I see from Atlanta papers that they look upon the loss of that place as probable, but congratulate themselves that Sherman could not stay a month if he had it. Intimation seems strong that Johnston will fall back to Macon, where he thinks he will not be followed for some time, and detach largely to join Lee's army to drive us back, when they can fall upon Sherman with an overwhelming force. To cut both roads far south, therefore, will be a great help to us. I think Sheridan should simply be informed fully of the importance of complete and extended destruction of the enemy's roads and be left to execute it in his own way and with discretion to return in his own time, with authority even to go into New Berne if he thinks safety requires it. The object of an infantry force is to give him a fair start beyond reach of the enemy's infantry. If a corps can get on the railroad between the rebel cavalry and infantry that would be sufficient . They might remain on day destroying road, if not engaged with the enemy, and then return, moving well to the east in doing so.
U. S. GRANT,
CITY POINT, VA., July 14, 1864.
(Received 11 p.m.)
The enemy are leaving Maryland, it is supposed, by Edwards Ferry. Wright is following, but I presume the enemy will get off without punishment. Hunter may hit him, but I doubt it. The Baltimore road was
15 R R-VOL XL, PT III