War of the Rebellion: Serial 103 Page 0547 PURSUIT AND CAPTURE OF JEFFERSON DAVIS.

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a force of infantry, say 2,000 strong, up to Ashville as soon as you can get them there. Clear that region of all rebels, and of you can push a portion over the Blue Ridge and keep up communication with the cavalry, the commander of which you will instruct to try and keep up communication with you at such points or gaps in the Blue Ridge as you may think proper to hold. If you think 2,000 men not enough, you had better go yourself, taking all the force you think necessary to clear the country and hold the pass in the Blue Ridge. Inform the cavalry commander that General Wilson, with his cavalry, was, when last heard from, at Macon, Ga., and also that hostilities will not cease until the President of the United States so proclamation to the world.


Major-General, U. S. Volunteers.

No regular report has been received from General Palmer, but the accompanying very clear and concise memorandum field reports will give a good idea of what has been accomplished by the division of cavalry while under his command. It will be perceive that General Palmer, by most vigorous marches, succeeded in gaining two days' march on Davis and his escort before reaching the Savannah River, and thereby enabled him to cross the river above Davis, get in front of him, completely cut him off from the Trans-Mississippi, and force him toward the Atlantic Coast, where he was captured by the cavalry under General Wilson. The inclosed report* of the operations of the infantry division under General Tillson will show what has been done by that portion of my command. Of the conduct of the Cavalry Division while I was with it, and judging from what I have heard of its operations since I left it, I cannot speak in terms too high of praise. We were equally the surprise, terror, and admiration of the enemy wherever we went, and the results accomplished sufficiently attest the capabilities of the agents employed. I cordially and gladly indorse all the recommendations of General Gillem, and am,

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding.

Brigadier General W. D. WHIPPLE,

Adjutant-General and Chief of Staff, Dept. of the Cumberland.

Numbers 9. Reports of Bvt. Brigadier General William J. Palmer, Fifteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, commanding Cavalry Division.


Athens, Ga., May 6, 1865.

MAJOR: I had reached the vicinity of Cowpens battle-field, S. C., on April 29, when I received the order to endeavor to intercept Jefferson Davis, his Cabinet, and the Confederate specie. I had already ascertained that Davis and the money, with an escort of four brigades of cavalry, under Duke, Ferguson, and Dibrell, with scattered detachments of Vaughan's, Humes', and Butler's commands, all of which had evaded the terms of surrender of Johnston to Sherman, were moving from Yorkville, S. C., and had crossed Smith's Ford, of Broad River, toward Unionville and Abbeville, S. C., with the intention of going through to the Trans-Mississippi Department. Secretaries Breckinridge and Benjamin and most of the Cabinet, with a large number of generals, also Governor Harris, of Tennessee, accompanied


* See report of Brigadier General Davis Tillson, May 18, 1865, p. 338.