One brigade of the First Army Corps was ordered from Camp Stoneman, near Washington, to Winchester, and another brigade of infantry from the Department of West Virginia, under Brigadier-General Duval, U. S. Volunteers, the two forming a division, which I placed under the command of Brigadier General S. S. Carroll, U. S. Volunteers. A division of the Nineteenth Army Corps, commanded by Brigadier-General Dwight, U. S. Volunteers, was in position in front of Winchester, covering the roads leading down the Valley. Brigadier General James D. Fessenden, who has a brigade of that a division, was in command also of the town of Winchester.
In Pleasant Valley, near Harper's Ferry, there was a "dismounted camp" of about 6,000 cavalry, who, at that time, could not be mounted and brought into the field on account of the great scarcity of horses, and the demand for them in the Army of the Potomac. I made us of a portion of these dismounted men, however, to guard the line of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.
Not to go further into details, I found that in case a movement was ordered I could march with about 25,000 infantry, about 3,000 cavalry, and a proper proportion of artillery.
While engaged in equipping and disciplining this force for active movements, either up the Valley, or wherever it might be ordered, I had detachments of cavalry out daily, scouting the roads south from Winchester; and, with the intention of destroying supplies, said to be collected at Upperville, I directed an expedition to that point, under Colonel M. A. Reno, of the Twelfth Pennsylvania Cavalry, composed of his own regiment, and the First Regiment, First Corps, under Colonel Bird. Colonel Reno crossed the Shenandoah at Harper's Ferry, and encountered the enemy, about 300 strong, under Mosby, at hillsborough. According to the reports received by me Mosby drove the cavalry back in disorder, but hastily retired when he met the infantry skirmishers. The expedition returned having accomplished much less than I had expected it to do.
March 30, 1865, a band of guerrillas attacked and captured a passenger train, about ten miles east of Cumberland, robbing the passengers and plundering the mails. I proposed to supply a guard for each passenger train on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, which would have effectually prevented depredations of this nature, but the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company declined to carry guards for their own protection, without compensation from the Government, and therefore I did not furnish them.
On the 6th of April a body of Mosby's guerrillas surprised the camp of the Loundoun County Rangers near Charlestown, capturing a number of men and nearly all of their horses.
The surrender of General Lee's army to General Grant April 9, 1865, rendered further preparations for moving unnecessary. A force was sent up the Valley to parole such detachments of the enemy as might desire to avail themselves of the terms proposed. Mosby, the guerrilla chief, was at first expected from the offer of the parole, by instructions from the War Department, but afterward, by direction of General Grant, he was tenderers the parole by a staff officer, whom I sent to meet him at Millwood for that purpose, but not receiving a favorable reply from him, I arranged to move a large force of infantry and cavalry into Loundoun County, which, co-operating with a force which was to march from Washington City, would, I had every reason to expect, break up Mosby's command entirely, as I had accurate information as to their haunts, habits, places of concealment, &c. It