HEADQUARTERS LEFT WING, February 26, 1865 - 10 p.m.
Commanding Fourteenth Army Corps:
GENERAL: General Sherman has ordered the Twentieth Corps to remain in its present camp until your corps crosses the river. He has also sent orders to Howard to advance no farther until further orders. He feels extremely anxious about your situation. I hope you will succeed in crossing to-morrow. If your cannot repair your present bridge it seems to me that your best course will be to start at daylight and lay the bridge at Peay's Ferry, where Howard crossed, sending the trains already over with Morgan's division directly to this point. By this course I think you can get everything over to-morrow, and can then push on here via Liberty Hill and Russell Place left me hear from you as often as possible.
H. W. SLOCUM,
HEADQUARTERS TWENTIETH CORPS,
Hanging Rock Post-Office, February 26, 1865.
Major L. M. DAYTON,
Asst. Adjt. General, Military division of the Mississippi:
MAJOR: I have the honor to make the following reply to the communication of General Kilpatrick, inclosed herewith. * General Kilpatrick has been misinformed, and has had his feelings strongly excited by false statements. General Geary's division with his train and about 100 cavalry-wagons were held in readiness to cross the bridge at Rocky Mount Ferry all the afternoon of the 23rd instant. The train of Geary's division commenced crossing at 5 p.m. I was with it, and informed General Geary in person that General Kilpatrick would be entitled to the bridge at 7 o'clock, unless General Sherman postponed the hour for which application had been made. General Kilpatrick should not forget that delay of General Geary was caused mainly by crossing more than 200 of his own wagons now with this corps. Under General Sherman's order General Kilpatrick could have taken the bridge at 7 o'clock. No order or instructions of mine to General Geary could have prevented it of course. General Geary was confident, however, that with his whole division to assist his trains he could complete the crossing by 7. 30 to 8 o'clock. The five cavalrymen who were punished by my provost-marshal (not while the whole corps marched by, but for fifteen minutes, as the provost-marshal reports) were found by a commissioned officer throwing the furniture of an old woman into the streets and threatening to burn her house. They were a part of the detail attached to the cavalry train, which is, and has been from Sister's Ferry, with my command. While with me I take it for granted they are subject to my orders and to such discipline as I may think for the good of the service. Still, as soon as I heard of the case I directed the provost-marshal to return them to Major Dunbar, assistant quartermaster, in charge of the cavalry wagons, with a statement of their offense.
In regard to the detail sent out by Major Dunbar, assistant quartermaster cavalry, and the captured ten mules and four horses, I have this to day: Major Dunbar is now, and was ten, temporarily with my command and subject to my orders. He violated an order which pro-
* See p. 554.