War of the Rebellion: Serial 096 Page 0598 N. AND SE. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LVIII.

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CITY POINT, VA., February 20, 1865-2.30 p. m.

Major-General MEADE:

I believe, under the right sort of a commander, Gregg's cavalry could now push out, striking the South Side Railroad at some point between Petersburg and Burkeville, crossing the Danville road between the latter place and the Appomattox, and the South Side road again west of Burkeville; from thence they could push southwest, heading the streams in Virginia, until they reach North Carolina, when they could turn southwest and push on until it joins either Sherman or Schofield, whichever proves most practicable. They could destroy the railroads as they cross them, but should not stop in Virginia to do any extensive damage. In case you think of a general who can be intrusted with this, I could send you some of Ord's cavalry to do picket duty until a division could be brought from the Valley.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

February 20, 1865-4.35 p. m.

Lieutenant-General GRANT,

City Point:

Your dispatch of 2.30 p. m., in cipher, to General Meade, is just received. General Meade is out, but is expected back in an hour.

ALEX. S. WEBB,

Bvt. Major General and Chief of Staff, Army of the Potomac.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

February 20, 1865-9.30 p. m.

Lieutenant-General GRANT:

General Getty is, I expect, the best officer to intrust with the duty you propose. I will see him to-morrow. The roads at present are very bad, and the streams all full. The cavalry could not take any wagons, artillery, or pontoon trains; and if they do not stop to do any damage to the railroads it appears to me the effect of the movement will only be to re-enforce the army they join, except they will, undoubtedly, stir up the country through which they pass. How long will it take to get a division here to take their places? I am moderate in my cavalry wants, but do not like to be without any.

GEO. G. MEADE.

CITY POINT, February 20, 1865.

(Received 9 p. m.)

Major-General MEADE:

I am in receipt of a copy of a dispatch from Admiral Dahlgren to the Secretary of the Navy announcing the evacuation of Charleston, and that he was moving up to take possession. Please fire a salute at 12 m. to-morrow for the capture of that place and Columbia.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.