HDQRS. DEPT. OF VIRGINIA, ARMY OF THE JAMES, In the Field, March 2, 1865.
Bvt. Brigadier General B. C. LUDLOW, Commanding Defenses, Williamsburg, &c.:
GENERAL: I am instructed by the major-general commanding to inform you that his letter of instructions to you, of the 24th ultimo, does not deprive Colonel Morrison, Sixteenth New York Heavy Artillery, of the command of Fort Magruder. Your command embraces the whole "line" mentioned in that communication, of which Fort Magruder is a post, and of which Colonel Morrison will retain command under you.
H. B. SCOTT,
WAYNESBOROUGH, VA., March 2, 1865.
(Via Winchester, Va. Received 4.15 p. m. 8th.)
Major General H. W. HALLECK, Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: I have the honor to report the following operations of the forces under my command since leaving Winchester:
We pushed rapidly up the valley to Staunton, arriving there on the night of the 1st instant, encountering but little opposition. Parties of the enemy made their appearance on our flanks, but no attention was paid to them. At Mount Crawford, Rosser, with a portion of his command, attempted to hold the position and destroy the bridge, but was handsomely charged by a portion of Colonel Capehart's brigade, and drove them on a run to Mount Sidney. General Early then hastily evacuated Staunton, which was occupied by Colonel Stagg's brigade, and the railroad bridge over Christian's Creek was burned. On the morning of the 2nd the whole command marched into Staunton. I then directed General Merritt to order General Custer, with his division, to follow up the enemy, who had moved in the direction of Waynesborough, the First Division following in support of General Custer. General Custer found the enemy in line of battle in a strong position at Waynesborough, and at once attacked him [with] Pennington's and Wells' brigades, of his division, and Capehart's brigade, of the Second Division (General Chapman's), with the following result: 9 pieces light artillery, 13 battle-flags, 1,165 enlisted men, 78 officers, from 125 to 150 wagons and ambulances, with teams complete, captured. The caissons and teams of the artillery were also complete. Nearly the entire force of the enemy was captured. Generals Early, Wharton, Rosser, and Lilley were present on the field. Generals Early and Lilley escaped to the mountain. In addition to the above captures, we destroyed between Harrisonburg and Staunton 25 wagons and ambulances, and at Staunton 100 wagons. At Swoope's Depot 1,200 uniforms and a quantity of subsistence stores, burning the Government buildings. The force that made the stand here was two brigades of Wharton's division and a portion of Rosser's cavalry.
P. H. SHERIDAN,
P. S.-Among the prisoners taken are General Early's medical director and adjutant-general. The roads off the pike are in a terrible condition. It has been raining hard for the last twenty-four hours.
P. S.-The following has this moment been received from General Custer:
I have just captured Greenwood Depot, with 75 prisoners and 3 guns, together with an immense quantity of Government stores and cotton. Have destroyed all these stores, together with 500 saddles complete.