War of the Rebellion: Serial 103 Page 0555 PURSUIT AND CAPTURE OF JEFFERSON DAVIS.

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HDQRS. CAVALRY DIVISION, DIST. OF EAST TENNESSEE,

Huntsville, Ala., May 24, 1865.

MAJOR: I have the honor to append to the reports I have hitherto furnished of the operations of this cavalry division since I assumed command the following.

First. The rebel cavalry force which started with Jefferson Davis from Charlotte, N. C., to escort him to the Trans-Mississippi Department, and which was intercepted by us on the line of the Savannah River, consisted of Dibrell's division and Ferguson's brigade, of Wheeler's corps, Duke's brigade, and all of Vaughn's command that had not previously deserted, and Butler's division, of Hampton's corps. The last did not attempt to cross the Savannah River, but disbanded in South Carolina near the river. Ferguson's brigade, consisting chiefly of Georgians and numbering about 1,000, after the Savannah was allowed to march to Macon, where it surrendered to General Wilson. The remaining four brigades, commanded by Dibrell and numbering about 2,500 men, surrendered at the Petersburg pontoon bridge, on the Savannah River, on finding that they were intercepted, Davis at that point having come to the determination to get away with a few men.

Second. A large proportion of the rebel soldiers paroled at different posts in the South were without arms, some saying that they had thrown them away, others that they had left them with their command when given furloughs, &c. It is a question worthy of consideration whether by proclamation of commanding officers all such arms should not be ordered to be delivered up within a certain limited period, as I am satisfied that in most cases these men have their arms at their homes.

Third. I desire to recommend for honorable mention and promotion the following officers of my command, to wit: In the Fifteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, Lieutenant Colonel M. Betts, commanding regiment, for gallant conduct in charging and capturing a South Carolina battalion of cavalry with its commanding officer (Lieutenant Colonel Johnson), in front of Greensborough on the morning of April 11, 1865; also for thoroughly preserving the discipline of his regiment on an active campaign, during which the troops were compelled to live exclusively on the country. Adjt. Josiah C. Reiff, for gallantry in the above mentioned charge in front of Greensborough, in which he wounded with the saber and captured Lieutenant-colonel Johnson, commanding battalion of the Sixth [Third] South Carolina Cavalry; also for skill and success throughout the campaign in getting acquainted with and in clearly reporting the movements of the enemy. Major William Wagner, for skill and good conduct im having with his battalion of 250 men destroyed the Virginia Railroad from thirty miles east of Christiansburg to within three miles of Lynchburg, and thence succeeding in withdrawing his command in the face of a superior force, with the loss of but one man, and in joining his regiment at Statesville, N. C. Major A. B. Garner, for gallantry and skill in having with his battalion of 100 men destroyed the railroad bridge over Reedy Fork, between Danville and Greensborough, on the morning of the 11th of April, evading superior forces of the enemy. Captain Adam Kramer, for skill and gallantry in having destroyed the important railroad bridge over Deep River, between Greensborough and Salisbury, on the morning of April 11; also for destroying a large quantity of arms and munitions of war and railroad trains with their contents, first defeating a superior force of the enemy. Sergt. Selden L. Wilson, for skill and gallantry in having with ten men destroyed the railroad bridge over South Buffalo Creek within a few miles south of Greensborough, driving off the guard.