January 21, 1865 - 10.15 a. m.
In my direct front I am hardly liable to a surprise, but the railroad to my rear can be, by a small party, so disturbed that communication with New Berne by railroad is cut off. This I have not the force to spare to guard, and respectfully suggest that a cavalry patrol at night be made from Camp Palmer, or that a permanent picket-post be stationed at the railroad crossing, at least for a short time. I do not desire, general, to appear suggestive to you, and beg pardon for direct intrusion.
P. J. CLAASSEN,
Colonel, Commanding Pouposts.
WINCHESTER, VA., January 21, 1865.
(Received 6 p. m.)
General Crook telegraphs that on account of ice, &c., he will return to Cumberland on the 22nd. It has been raining, snowing, and sleeting here all day. Quite cold. Scouts did not succeed in getting into Woodstock that night, on account of a party of rebs laying for them at that place. They report that the rebs are conscripting the people at Woodstock. Major Yaong starts out with about seventeen scouts and fifty picked men from the Fifth New York Cavalry. I think that he will clear Woodstock.
JAS. W. FORSYTH,
Chief of Staff.
WAS DEPARTMENT, ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Washington, January 21, 1865.
Major General W. S. HANCOCK, U. S. Volunteers,
Commanding First Corps, Washington, D. C.:
SIR: Your communication of the 3rd instant, requesting that brig. General S. S. Carroll, U. S. Volunteers, be ordered to report to you for assignment into duty in command of the camp of organization of the First Corps, has been received. In reply, I have the honor to state that it has been decided by the Secretary of War that, as General Carroll is now on court-martial duty, the assignment requested in your communication cannot at present be made.
Very respectfully, &c.,
HEADQUARTERS FIRST SEPARATE BRIGADE,
Fairfax Court-House, Va., January 21, 1865 - 5 p. m.
Lieutenant Colonel J. H. TAYLOR,
Chief of Staff, Department of Washington:
Reports just received from the several stations on the line state all quiet since last report. I have just received reliable secret information