War of the Rebellion: Serial 096 Page 0778 N. AND SE. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LVIII.

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ALEXANDRIA, March 1, 1865.

(Received 8.10 p. m.)

Colonel TAYLOR,

Chief of Staff and Assistant Adjutant-General:

COLONEL: It is reported to-day by a deserter from the rebel army (an officer) that the rebel cavalry are picketing the Rappahannock River from the railroad bridge south. The pickets report all quiet to-day.

H. H. WELLS.

ALEXANDRIA, March 1, 1865-11.35 p. m.

(Received 11.45 p. m.)

Major General C. C. AUGUR:

GENERAL: The officer's name is First Lieutenant J. H. Mills. Says he belong to Second Missouri Regiment. Was engaged as commander of train guard on the railroads running from Richmond about the 15th of February. Has seen no movement of troops himself. In coming from Culpeper this way he found the Fifteenth Virginia Cavalry on duty at the first ford south of Rappahannock bridge, and there learned that the river was picketed. He saw no infantry, and does not know their object in picketing the river. I will send him to you in the morning, if you desire to see him.

H. H. WELLS,

Provost-Marshal-General.

MARCH 1, 1865.

Brigadier General J. W. FORSYTH,

Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: The bridge at Cline's Mill is occupied by our men and is in good condition. I have ordered the column to halt.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. MERRITT,

Brevet Major-General.

FIELD ORDERS,

MIDDLE RIVER, VA., Numbers 3.

March 1, 1865.

The command will march at 6 a. m. to-morrow morning, March 2, in the following order, viz: First, Third Division; second, wagon and pontoon train following; third, First Division.

Division commanders will take the necessary precautions to protect the march of the column by throwing out flankers and holding lateral roads by pickets. Division commanders will be held responsible for the safety of the wagon train, &c. Strong foraging parties will be detailed by brigade commanders for their respective brigades. Great care must be taken in selecting competent officers for this service. They will be held responsible for the safety of their command and the manner in which this duty is performed. No soldier will be allowed on any pretense whatever to enter private dwellings. All pillaging and marauding will be punished summarily. Division commanders will issue strict orders, to be given to regimental commanders, to prevent their