War of the Rebellion: Serial 096 Page 0940 N. AND SE. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LVIII.

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the navy gun-boats to go and remain with you. Rations and forage will be sent to you immediately, not only for your force, but for the command under General Sheridan.



CITY POINT, VA., March 12, 1865.

Major General P. H. SHERIDAN,

Commanding Middle Division:

Your scouts from Columbia, giving the gratifying intelligence of your success up to that time, have just arrived. The importance of your success can scarcely be estimated. I congratulate you and the command with you upon the skill and endurance displayed. I have an expedition of one brigade of infantry now up on the Northern Neck attempting to break up a smuggling trade that is being carried on by that route between Richmond and Northern cities. I dispatch immediately a staff officer to get the expedition and to move it to the White House. I also send without delay 100,000 rations and ten days' forage for 10,000 horses. Remain with your command on the Pamunkey until further orders. I shall not probably keep you there many days. It is known that a large amount of tobacco has gone from Richmond to the neighborhood of Fredericksburg, to be exchanged for bacon and the necessaries for Lee's army. Northern men and rebel agents are concerned in this trade. If you can secure this tobacco, or can learn where it is, so that it can be secured hereafter, do it. Keep the infantry I send to you until you break up at White House, and then order it here in the absence of others orders.




HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY CORPS, Semmes' Farm, Five Miles from Tolersville, Numbers 9.

March 12, 1865.

I. The Third Cavalry Division of this command will move to Frederick's Hall Station at 6 a.m. to-morrow. General Custer will commence destroying the Central railroad, as soon as he strikes it, in the direction of Beaver Dam. The track must be thoroughly destroyed-ties and bridges burned, and the rails twisted. Every precaution must be taken for the safety of the working parties. This division will continue the work of destruction until further orders. All information gained of the enemy must be transmitted to these headquarters with the utmost dispatch. The First Division will move at 5 a.m. to Tolersville to break the Central railroad in the direction of Frederick's Hall Station. This work will be continued until 12 m., at which time the division will be moved to Frederick's Hall Station. General Devin will send a detachment to Louisa Court-House to burn the depot and any Government property found there. The telegraph wire will be cut and thoroughly destroyed, the poles cut down, the wire cut, twisted, &c., from Louisa Court-House to Frederick's Hall Station, and from the latter place to Beaver Dam.

II. Every exertion must be made by commanding officers to prevent straggling and to keep their commands well in hand.

By command of Brevet Major-General Merritt:


Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.