War of the Rebellion: Serial 096 Page 0930 N. AND SE. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LVIII.

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FORT MAGRUDER, March 11, 1865.

Major-General ORD,

Army of the James:

A loyal man outside of the lines tells me that a man from Richmond yesterday says that Petersburg is ready to be evacuated. Tobacco is piled in the streets ready to be burned.

B. C. LUDLOW,

Brevet Brigadier-General, Commanding.

FIELD ORDERS,

HDQRS. MIDDLE MILITARY DIVISION, Numbers 7.

Columbia, March 11, 1865.

The rations issued to the officers and enlisted men of this command to-day, with what they had on hand, will be required to last for twelve days.

By command of Major-General Sheridan:

JAS. W. FORSYTH,

Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY,

March 11, 1865.

Brigadier-General FORSYTH,

Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: A refugee from Richmond (left there a week ago) reports that Lee has shortened his lines around Petersburg, and Grant advanced his, so that the latter is within easy shelling distance on the south side. All women and children have been removed from Petersburg. They were shipping their loot from Richmond principally by the canal to Lynchburg. A large number of canal-boats reported below here from Cedar Point to Richmond. No confirmation with reference to Sherman. All sorts of reports; nothing reliable. One report has him within thirty miles of Richmond. Fitz Lee reported to be moving toward Lynchburg, but when he heard of our change of direction, said to have crossed the river to north side of Cartersville. This last part not believed.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. MERRITT,

Brevet Major-General.

SPECIAL ORDERS,

HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY MIDDLE MILITARY DIVISION, Numbers 2.

Columbia, Va., March 11, 1865.

I. The attention of commanding officers is directed to the fact that the rations issued this day (March 11, 1865) exhausted the supply train. It is of the utmost consequence that these rations should be husbanded with the greatest care, and the special attention of regimental and troops officers cannot be too strongly urged to this necessity.

II. It is observed that there is not sufficient organization in foraging parties detached from the command. All such parties must be sent out under charge of competent officers, who must be sedulously careful to keep their men together and prevent all pillaging and marauding.