War of the Rebellion: Serial 096 Page 0849 Chapter LVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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of the Twenty-third Virginia Cavalry [rebel] taken. Five prisoners were captured and Commodore Hollins stated to have been killed whilst attempting to escape; his son is among the prisoners. It was observed that parties of the enemy were watching the movements of the force from the hills on the right. Some letters found on the persons of the prisoners, dated February 25, 1865, describe the state of things in Richmond as most uncertain, rumors of the intention of the government to burn the stores of tobacco and cotton in that city being rife. Colonel Fitzhugh, commanding Second Brigade, First Cavalry Division, reports that Major Douglass, commanding a detachment of the Twentieth Pennsylvania Cavalry, proceeded to Swoope's Station under orders and destroyed quartermaster's and commissary stores, most of which were found in the neighboring barns, 3,000 blankets, 2,000 boots, 2,000 stockings, 2,000 trousers, 2,000 jackets, 2,000 shirts and drawers, 50 000 pounds meat [ham, shoulders, and beef], and a bridge on the railroad; also a small quantity of arms and ordnance stores. A short time before the arrival of Major Douglass at Swoope's Station a party of fifteen men, clad in rebel uniform, whom the major has every reason to believe belong to our scouts, had preceded him, and had been bribed by a farmer in the vicinity to spare his barn, containing a large amount of stores. Captain Earle, chief commissary of subsistence, reports that the cavalry is supplied with seven days' rations, and the train loaded as ordered, viz, the wagons lightened.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. MERRITT,

Brevet Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY, Charlottesville, Va., March 5, 1865.

Brevet Brigadier-General FORSYTH,

Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: The deficiency in ammunition is reported by Brigadier-General Devin in the First Cavalry Division, viz, 34,178 rounds carbine cartridges, 2,000 rounds pistol cartridges. The deficiency is accounted for as follows: A portion is original deficiency, a part expended in action, and part lost from cartridge-boxes or damaged by water in fording streams. To-day the full amount has been issued, and no deficiency now exists. A dispatch from Colonel Stagg, commanding First Brigade, First Cavalry Division, reports the destruction of about two miles of railroad by his command, the ties being all burned, and the rails heated and then twisted.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. MERRITT,

Brevet Major-General.

WINCHESTER, VA., March 5, 1865-10 p.m. [Received 10.10 p.m.]

Major-General HALLECK,

Chief of Staff:

Citizens in town have had the report about Sheridan's repulse of Early all the afternoon. They say nothing about the capture of Early, however.

WINF'D S. HANCOCK,

Major-General.

54 R R-VOL XLVI, PT II