stores which the respective departments will be ordered to send forward. A copy of the instructions given to Major General A. J. Smith is hereby inclosed;* also a copy of those given to Major-General Grierson,+ commanding cavalry, who will leave Blakely to-morrow morning, April 17. When these columns form a junction for combined movements the command of all the forces will devolve upon yourself by seniority. As soon as Selam is secured, and the railroad from selam west as far as Cahawba River, including the bridge crossing that river, is thoroughly destroyed, you will proceed to Montgomery, which place is to be taken at all hazards, in order that a temporary base may be established there. You will lease a sufficient garrison there and secure yourself against its recapture by the enemy by making such additions or alterations in the fortifications as you may deem necessary. When Montgomery has passed into our possession and has been properly secured for future emergencies, strong expeditions will be sent north between the Coosa and Tallapoosa Rivers, threatening the railroad terminus at Talladega, and everything must be done to attract the attention of rebel troops that may be collected along the Chattahoochee and at the main railroad points-Columbus, West Point, and Opelika. Under the cover of these expeditions, the cavalry under General Grierson is ordered to scour the country on the right of the main column, between the Tallapoosa and Chattahoochee Rivers, and with a sufficient portion of his command cross the latter river below Columbus, sweeping with quick movements up to Columbus, capturing that place and destroying its depots, stores, warehouses, and everything that can be useful to the enemy. Thence he will push on, on the east bank of the river, if he can possibly do so without jeopardizing his command, otherwise on its west bank to West Point and destroy that place in a similar manner as Columbus. Returning, the cavalry will break the railroad from West Point and Columbus to Opelika. In order to guarantee the complete success of these enterprises you will place strong reserves near Cowles' (railroad) Station, on Tallapoosa River, and at Tuskegee, and control by cavalry detachments Dadeville, in your right front, and Union Springs, in your rear. The forces at Cowles' Station and Tuskegee must assists in capturing and destroying Opelika, and always be on the alert to co-operate with General Grierson's cavalry. Great rapidity in movements, combined with the strictest enforcement of discipline, is necessary to secure the results expected from the expedition. All likes of the rebel system of railroad lines north of Montgomery and Selma must be thoroughly broken, and the capture of the greatest possible number of locomotives and rolling, stock is every more desirable than the destruction of many miles of track. The latter can be repaired but the former cannot be replaced. You will report your progress as often as practicable.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
P. J. OSTERHAUS,
Major-General and Chief of Staff.
HDQRS. ARMY AND DIVISION OF WEST MISSISSIPPI,
Mobile, Ala., April 16, 1865.
Byt. Major General B. H. GRIERSON,
Commanding Cav. Forces, Army and Div. of West Miss., Blakely, Ala.:
GENERAL: The major-general commanding directs me to give the following instructions for the guidance of your movements; You will
*See Osterhaus to Smith, April 12, p. 340.
+See Osterhaus to Grierson, next, post.