War of the Rebellion: Serial 096 Page 0909 Chapter LVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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HEADQUARTERS MIDDLE MILITARY DIVISION,

Scottsville, Va., March 9, 1865.

Brevet Major-General MERRITT, Chief of Cavalry:

GENERAL: The major-general commanding directs that your order Pennington's brigade to move to Columbia at 6 a.m. to-morrow, leaving a small guard at the crossing of the Hardware River; that you move the other two brigades of Custer's division at 6 a.m. to-morrow to Columbia, leaving a small guard at the crossing of the Hardware River until the rear of the column passes that point; that the trains be moved to Columbia, escorted by the two brigades of the First Division, either by the tow-path or by the main road. In case they moved by the towpath one of the brigades can march on the main road to protect their flank; the other brigade will move with the train. The brigade that moves by the tow-path will be required to thoroughly destroy all locks, &c., on the canal between Scottsville and Columbia.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAS. W. FORSYTH,

Chief of Staff.

COLUMBIA, VA., March 9, 1865-5.30 a.m.

Major-General MERRITT, Commanding Cavalry Corps:

GENERAL: The brigade has just reached this place. I came by the road, but sent a party by the tow-path, which is in good condition. Captured three of Fitz Lee's scouts near Columbia. Their leader went away before them and must have reported to Lee. No enemy at Columbia. Found six canal boats and a deredge within eight miles of this place, and have sent parties to destroy them. I am confident there is no bridge at Cartersville or Pemberton, but have sent party to make sure. I left a strong detail from Sixth New York to guard bridge over Hardware River. Have got the whole brigade, except Twentieth Pennsylvania, on east side of the Rivanna. The Twentieth holds the west side. This is a strong position, and I have picketed the roads strongly in all directions, and shall proceed to cut the dike near the aqueduct, but not so as to interfere with the crossing of troops. These scouts of Lee's say they left Cold Harbor yesterday a.m. and traveled seventy-five miles.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

CHAS. L. FITZHUGH,

Colonel, Commanding Second Brigade.

P. S.-Artillery can cross the aqueduct. Citizens all seem to think that Lee is in the vicinity, and a squadron that crossed at Scottsville yesterday reported him coming up.

CHAS. L. FITZHUGH,

Colonel Sixth New York.

WASHINGTON, D. C., March 9, 1865-9.44 a.m.

Major-General HANCOCK, Harper's Ferry:

I have no means of knowing General Sheridan's wishes in regard to troops and pontoons, but I think your supposition correct. General Hoffman has arranged for receiving all the prisoners of war at Fort Delaware.

H. W. HALLECK,

Major-General and Chief of Staff.