effective troops, and there was at Cumberland of this force between 3,555 and 4,000 men; still they have been asking for more. I hope to get off from her about Saturday, if possible. I have a canvas pontoon train en route from Washington which I would like to take.
P. H. SHERIDAN,
WINCHESTER, VA., February 21, 1865-9.45 a. m.
(Received 10.40 a. m.)
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
Chief of Staff:
A party of from fifty to sixty rebel cavalry surprised General Crook's pickets at Cumberland at 3 o'clock this morning, entered the city and captured Generals Crook and Kelley, and carried them off. I ordered the cavalry at New Creek to Moorefield, and send from here to same place, via Wardensville, but have but little hopes of recapture, as the party is going very rapidly. I think the party belongs to McNeill's band.
P. H. SHERIDAN,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WASHINGTON, TWENTY-SECOND ARMY CORPS,
February 21, 1865.
Major JOHN M. WAITE,
Acting Assistant Inspector-General, Dept. of Washington:
MAJOR: The major-general commanding desires that you make a critical inspection of the command now serving on the upper Potomac, especially in the matters of the posting of the pickets, &c., condition of horses, supplies top tech men of clothing and subsistence, discipline, and, in general, those points most affecting the well being of the forces. Make any changes in locality that you may deem requisite, reporting the same to these headquarters. Ascertain the reason for the great difference existing between the aggregate strength of the two detachments and the numbers for duty. Learn if forage can be furnished for another battalion at Edwards Ferry, or in that vicinity.
Very respectfully, major, your most obedient servant,
J. H. TAYLOR,
Chief of Staff and Assistant Adjutant-General.
CUMBERLAND, MD., February 21, 1865-6 a. m.
The party that surprised and captured the pickets, and carried off Major-Generals Crook and Kelley and others, seems to have been about 100 picked men from Rossser's command. They remained only about ten minutes. Except capturing a few horses they have done no other injury. I have sent all the cavalry I have (about fifty) after them. I have ordered all the cavalry from New Creek after them. I will send a regiment of infantry to New Creek at 7 o'clock to replace the cavalry sent out from there. Cannot parties be sent out from the Valley to