War of the Rebellion: Serial 090 Page 0453 Chapter LV. THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY CAMPAIGN.

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The property captured was duly turned into army headquarters, and the provost-marshal of this division has receipts for the same from the provost-marshal of the army. It has all been forwarded, except that appropriated for the use of the army, to Washington City.

It may not be amiss to mention in this connection that during the present campaign in the Valley the First Cavalry Division has captured 14 battle flags, 29 pieces of artillery, 18 caissons, over 100 wagons and ambulances, nearly 2,000 prisoners of war, including 122 commissioned officers. Since 1st of May the command has captured 3,004 prisoners of war.

The above data furnishes evidence of a record upon which both officers and men of this command have a right to felicitate themselves.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. MERRITT,

Brevet Major-General, Commanding Division.

HEADQUARTERS FIRST CAVALRY DIVISION,

November 4, 1864.

Major WILLIAM RUSSELL, JR.,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Cavalry Corps, Mid. Mil. Div.:

MAJOR: Since writing the above my attention has been called to a congratulatory order which appears in the newspapers over the signature of Brigadier General G. A. Custer, commanding Third Cavalry Division, in which he claims that forty-five of the forty-eight guns captured in the battle of Middletown on the 19th ultimo were taken by the Third Division. I had before hard from different sources that such claims were made by officers of the Third Division, but took no notice of them, as I did not think it possible, from what I knew of the pursuit of the enemy on the south side of Cedar Creek, that such unfounded assertions as were current could receive the support or indorsement of General Custer. But since this official recognition of over-weeding greed of some of the Third Division for the rightful captures of my command I think it my duty to my officers and men to declare the statement alluded to above as without foundation in truth. Furthermore, I state positively that the number of guns, twenty-two, with caissons, wagons, ambulances, &c., turned in by this division to army headquarters by positive orders were all captured by this division, and that the provost-marshal of the division has receipts for the same. I have no personal ambition to gratify in this matter. I left the field after dark about the same time General Custer left. I did so in consequence of orders from cavalry headquarters, which orders were to send but one brigade over the creek, holding the Reserve Brigade on the north bank. This order sent to the Reserve Brigade did not reach it until it had gone well on to Strasburg, and it therefore assisted by its presence in making the capture above spoken of. It also brought in and turned over prisoners taken in Strasburg. If there was no positive proof of the truth of the above statements, there is ample presumptive evidence in the fact that this division lost almost as many in killed and wounded on the south side of Cedar Creek as the Third Division lost during the entire day. Forty-five out of forty-eight guns are scarcely captured usually without loss, while the remaining three are productive of more bloodshed than that experienced by an entire division of cavalry in a pitch-battle. I make this statement in justice to the living as well as to the dead heroes