HDQRS. FOURTH DIVISION, SEVENTEETH ARMY CORPS,
In the Field, Near Occoquan Creek, Va., May 18, 1865.
Major C. CADLE,
SIR: When this corps started from Richmond the Fourth Division was entitled to one day in the advance to make it equal with the others on the march from Raleigh to Richmond (General Blair always giving each division the same number of days in advance whether kept behind from arrangement or necessity). That day was the 12th instant. It then took its place in rear, where it remained three days. The order of march on the third day was to take the center, but owing to the Third and First Divisions being from 5 a. m. until 3 p. m. in crossing the Pamunkey, it was not able to take that position, which, being represented to you, it was changed to the same order of march as the day previous. The division was, consequently, three days in the rear, which, according to precedent and justice, which this corps has heretofore had, entitled it to three days in the center and three in the advance, providing there was any alternating-the policy of which on such marches as this is more than doubtful and not intended by orders from department headquarters. For some reason, only conjuctured here, but probably well known where it emanated, this division had but one day in the center, and, having now marched two days in advance, is ordered again to the rear, thus, taking out the 12th, when it was in advance for reasons heretofore started, out of seven days' march the Fourth Division is four days in the rear, one day in the center, and two in the advance. I regrect exceedingly that my duty to the officers and men under my command makes it incumbent upon me to make this my first complaint during my four years' service, and as deeply regret the necessity for such a statement.
GILES A. SMITH,
HDQRS. 4TH DIV., 17TH ARMY CORPS, Numbers 28.
In the Field, Va., May 18, 1865.
The general commanding is surprised to learn that officers permit the men to take rails from around a field of growing grain and also graze their stock upon wheat fields. Virginia is now engaged in organizing a loyal State government, and no depredations upon its inhabitants must be permitted.
By order of Bvt. Major General Giles A. Smith:
AD. WARE, JR.,
ALEXANDRIA, VA., May 18, 1865-1. 15 p. m.
(Received 1. 20 p. m.)
General J. A. RAWLINS,
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: I arrived at Alexandria this morning, and have taken up my headquarters two miles from Alexandria, on the raod leading to Washington. I expect the troops of my command to arrive this evening. General Sherman's will probably arrive this evening.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. SLOCUM,
Major-General, Commanding Army of Georgia.