Edenburg belonging to Twelfth Virginia Cavalry; one company commanded by Captain Grand staff. My family live on the Pughtown road, about five miles from Winchester. I have been a prisoner one year; was exchanged last month. There were about twenty cavalry on picket at the upper bridge near Edenburg; no picket below. They told me that a Yankee scouting party was expected Sunday afternoon, January 29. Deserted because I am too old (fifty-two years) to endure the hardships, and because my family were suffering.
WINCHESTER, VA., February 3, 1865.
Statement of Private John Johnson, Company A, Seventh Tennessee Infantry, McComb's brigade, Heth's division, A. P. Hill's corps:
Deserted from my regiment near Petersburg January 26. I got a sick furlough for forty days; came by rail to Staunton; form their became by stage to Mount Jackson; then took the North Mountain down. We were assisted by several Union men below Mount Jackson. There were about sixty men in my regiment; 300 men in the brigade. I heard the quartermaster say that there were about 1,700 men in the division; cannot say how many in the corps. My regiment is on the left of Petersburg. Large numbers of lee's army are deserting daily; sometimes as many as 200 a day. At least half would desert if they had an opportunity. The report that Lee is to leave the army causes great discontent. The men say that they never will fight under any other commander. A. P. Hill is not very popular as a corps commander. The rations very poor and irregular.
Tilman Etheridge, private, Company H, Seventh Tennessee, deserted with John Johnson, 26th of January. Statement substantially same as Johnson's.
MARTINSBURG, February 4, 1865.
Have you heard that an engine was captured about daylight this a. m. east of Duffield's? I have sent small party of cavalry to Bunker Hill to intercept. Have no particulars.
W. H. SEWARD,
HEADQUARTERS MIDDLE MILITARY DIVISION, Winchester, February 4, 1865.
Colonel M. A. RENO,
Charleston, W. Va.:
The country in your vicinity and out for a distance of ten miles is full of Confederate soldiers. With a regiment as strong as yours you should be able to capture many of them, and I will look to you to do so. At every house where you make a capture drive ff all stock except one milch cow, and notify the people that I will put them out of my lines and let their rebel friends take care of them.
P. HL. SHERIDAN,