Lynchburg. On the morning of the 6th, dividing his force into two columns, he sent one to Scottsville, whence it marched up the James River Canal to New Market, destroying every lock, and in many places the bank of the canal. From here a force was pushed out from this volume to Duguidsville, to obtain possession of the bridge across the James River at that place, but failed. The enemy burned it on our approach. The enemy also burned the bridge across the river at Hardwicksville. The other column moved down the railroad toward Lynchburg, destroying it as far as Amherst Court-House, sixteen miles from Lynchburg; thence across the country, uniting with the column at New Market. The river being very high, his pontoons would not reach across it; and the enemy having destroyed the bridges by which he had hoped to cross the river and get on the South Side railroad about Farmville, and destroy it to Appomattox Court-House, the only thing left for him was to return to Winchester or strike a base at the White House. Fortunately, he chose the latter. From New Market he took up his line of march, following the canal toward Richmond, destroying every lock upon it an cutting the banks wherever practicable, to a point eight miles east of Goochland, concentrating the whole force at Columbia on the 10th. Here he rested one day, and sent through by scouts information of his whereabouts and purposes, and a request for supplies to meet him at White Houste, which reached me on the night of the 12th. An infantry force was immediately sent ot get possession of White House, and supplies were forwarded. Moving from Columbia in a direction to threaten Richmond, to near Ashaland Station, he crossed the Annas, and after having destroyed al the bridges and many miles of the railroad, proceeded down the north bank of the Pamunkey to White House, which place he reached on the 19th.*
Previous to this the following communication was sent to General Thomas:
CITY POINT, VA., March 7, 1865-9.30 a. m.
Major General G. H. THOMAS:
GENERAL: I think it will be advisable now for you to repair the railroad in East Tennessee, and throw a good force up to Bull's Gap and fortify there. Supplies at Knoxville could always be got forward as required. With Bull's Gap fortified, you can occupy as outposts about al of East Tennessee, and be prepared, if it should be required of you in the spring, to make a campaign toward Lynchburg or into North Carolina. I do not think Stoneman should break the road until he gets into Virginia, unless it should be to cut off rolling-stock that may be caught west of that.
U. S. GRANT,
Thus it will be seen that in March, 1865, General Canby was moving an adequate force against Mobile and the army defending it under General Dick Taylor; Thomas was pushing out two large and well-appointed cavalry expeditions-one from Middle Tennessee, under Brevet Major-General Wilson, against the enemy's widal points in Alabama; the other from East Tennessee, under Major-General Stoneman, toward Lynchburg-and assembling the remainder of his available force preparatory to offensive operations from East Tennessee; General Sheridans' cavalry was at White House; the Armies of the Potomac and James were confronting the enemy under Lee in his defenses of Richmond and Petersburg; General Sherman with his armies, re-enforced by that of General Schofield, was at Goldsborough;
*Fort subordinate reports of Sheridan's expedition, see p. 474.
4 R R-VOL XLVI, PT I