HEADQUARTERS TWENTIETH CORPS, Blackville, S. C., February 10, 1865.
Brigadier General W. T. WARD,
Commanding Third Division:
GENERAL: The inclosed order* is modifed as follows: The general commanding directs that you march at an early hour to-morrow mornign to Guignard's Bridge over the Edisto River, taking with you the five companies of engineer troops now with you, repair the bridge at that point, cross your command, and march on the north side of the river to join the corps. After completing the bridge the engineer troops are to be sent back to Williston, to report for duty to General Davis, commanding Fourteenth Corps. That part of the corps now here will cross the river to-morrow at Duncan's Bridge and push forward to the North Fork of the Edisto. The general desires that you will follow the corps as fast as possible, and rejoin it as soon as you possibly can.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. PERKINS,
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY COMMAND, MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISIPPI, Johnon's Turnout, February 10, 1865-11 a. m.
Major L. M. DAYTON,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Military Division of the Mississippi:
MAJOR: I have advanced as far as this point in direction of Aiken. Have just driven out a brigade of rebel cavalry, and find that Wheeler has concentrated the majority of his troops at Aiken, and is now in line of battle, barricading his position two miles this side of Aiken. We have had considerable skirmishing, but nothing more. This is a splendid country; plenty of forage and supplies. The enemy now believe that we are marching on Augusta; such, at least, is the impression among the citizens. Anderson's division crossed Cook's Bridge last evening, and passed this point. Wheeler's command is at this moment passing up from the direction of the river to my front and forming lines at a trot. I will not attack until I hear further from you. No better opportunity ever offered to break Wheeleer up; but as he may have supports of infantry I do not consider it prudent to attack. Could he now be driven back and Aiken captured we could secure a large amount of provisions, needed by my command, and I think a wrong [impression] be produced upon the minds of the enemy which he could not correct until it would be entirely too late. If you will sned me a brigade of infantry the Twentieth Army Corps, which must now be this side of Blackville and consequently less than a day's march from this point, I will render Wheeler powerless to even annoy your flank or wagon trains again during the campaign. Major-General Slocum offered me a brigade of infantry when I left him at Sister's Ferry. I wish now that I had taken it. The brigade asked for will not delay or interfere at all with your plans already mentioned. I can mach at any moment with it to the Edgefield road, via Cook's Bridge, and be in constant communication with the Fourteenth Army Corps, which I understand will not reach White Pond for two or three days.
*See next, ante.