mand, and that they were en route for Charlotte. Deserters and prisoners think they will make a stand here. They have a great deal of field artillery. Day before yesterday there was reported to be eighteen batteries, yesterday twenty-three. My command is intrenched in a strong natural position, and I am safe against anything the enemy can bring. Some of our foragers report seeing the foragers of the Twentieth Corps on this side of Lynch's Creek, and they report the corps crossing at a bridge some distantce above Blakeny's.
FRANK P. BLAIR, JR.,
P. S. -I have not considered myself authorized to advance farther after receiving your communication yesterday afternoon.
F. P. B.,
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT AND ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,
Kellytown, March 1, 1865-6 p.m.
Major General F. P. BLAIR,
Commanding Seventeenth Army Corps:
GENERAL: The general does not wish you to move forward until the Fifteenth Corps is within supporting distance. Two brigades of General Hazen's division reached this point this p.m., but the bridge broke down with the first wagon and will delay the column so that it will probably not get closed up to-night.
General Corse is probably at the crossing of the Big Black Creek to-night. The crossing at Tiller's was so bad that we came down here, but gained nothing.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A.m. VAN DYKE,
HDQRS. SEVENTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Numbers 55.
In the Field, S. C., March 1, 1865.
The scarcity of forage renders it necessary that all worthless animals in this command should be at once disposed of.
Division commanders will cause an inspection to be made of their camps and all foraging animals found that are in excess of the number allowed by them toe ach regiment or detachment will be taken to a distance from the camp and killed. If, however, any serviceable animals are found in this excess they will be delivered to the division quartermaster.
Division commanders are specially directed to reduce the number of forage animals in their commands to as small a number as possible.
II. The attention of division commanders is called to existing orders in relation to forage parties passing ahead of the column. The great number of mounted men that are exploring the country in advance of not only the infantry but the cavalry renders any effort of the latter to obtain information concerning the enemy's movements perfectly futile.
Foragers are captured every day, and every one captured is a source of information to the enemy. The most stringent measures must be taken to prevent foraging in front of the columns. The operations of foraging parties can be extended to the flank as far as the commanding officer may see proper to go.