War of the Rebellion: Serial 095 Page 0028 N. AND SE. VA., N. C., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LVIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

ton.* Therefore, on the 4th, I left City Point to visit Hunter's command, and determine for myself what was best to be done. On arrival there, and after consultation with General Hunter, I issued to him the following instructions;

MONOCACY BRIDGE, MD., August 5, 1864-8 p. m.

Major General D. HUNTER:

GENERAL: Concentrate all your available force without delay in the vicinity of Harper's Ferry, leaving only such railroad guards and garrisons for public property as may be necessary. Use, in this concentration, the railroad, if by so doing time can be saved. From Harper's Ferry, if it is found that the enemy has moved north of the Potomac in large force, push north, following him and attacking him wherever found; follow him if driven south of the Potomac as long as it is safe to do so. If it is ascertained that the enemy has but a small force north of the Potomac, then push south with the main force, detaching, under a competent commander, a sufficient force to look after the raiders, and drive them to their homes. In detaching such a force, the brigade of cavalry now en route from Washington, via Rockville, may be taken into account.

There are now on the way to join you three other brigades of the best of cavalry, numbering at least 5,000 men and horses. These will be instructed, in the absence of further orders, to join you by the south side of the Potomac. One brigade will probably start to-morrow. In pushing up the Shenandoah Valley, where it is expected you will have to go first or last, it is desirable that nothing should be left to invoice the enemy to return. Take al provisions, forage, and stock wanted for the use of your command; such as cannot be consumed, destroy. It is not desirable that the buildings should be destroyed; they should rather be protected; but the people should be informed that so long as any army can subsist among them recurrences of these raids must be expected, and we are determined to stop them at all hazards. Bear in mind the object is to drive the enemy south, and to to this you want to keep him always in sight. Be guided in your course by the course he takes.

Make your own arrangements for supplies of all kinds, giving regular vouchers for such as will be taken from loyal citizens in the country through which you march.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

The troops were immediately put in motion, and the advance reached Halltown that night.

General Hunter having, in our conversation, expressed a willingness to be relieved from command, I telegraphed to have General Sheridan, then at Washington, sent to Harper's Ferry by the morning train, with orders to take general command of all the troops in the field, and to cal on General Hunter, at Monocacy, whew would turn over to him my letter of instructions. I remained at Monocacy until General Sheridan arrived, on the morning of the 6th, and after a conference with him in relation to military affairs in that vicinity, I returned to City Point by way of Washington. On the 7th of August the Middle Department and the Departments of West Virginia, Washington, and Susquehanna were consisted into the "Middle Military Division," and Major-General Sheridan was assigned to temporary command of the same. Two divisions of cavalry, commanded by Generals Torbert and Wilson, were sent to Sheridan from the Army of the Potomac. The first reached him at Harper's Ferry about the 11th of August. His operations during the month of August and the fore part of September were both of an offensive and defensive character, resulting in many severe skirmishes, principally by the cavalry, in which we were generally successful, but no general engagement took place. The two armies lay in such a position-the enemy on the west bank of Opequon Creek, covering Winchester, and our forces in front of Berryville-

---------------

*For subordinate reports of operations in the Shenandoah Valley and Maryland up to August 3, 1864, see Vol. XXXVII, Part I.

---------------