HDQRS. CAVALRY FORCES, MIL. DIV. OF WEST MISSISSIPPI,
Blakely, Ala., April 17, 1865.
Brigadier General J. R. WEST,
Commanding First Brigade:
GENERAL: We leave here this morning. By the inclosed order* you will find that you are expected to move on the left flank of General Steele's column, and will join us at some point above, in the vicinity of Montgomery. We take the Second New Jersey on this flank. Brigadier-General Knape having been relieved, Colonel Karge assumes command of this brigade. When we come together the general commanding directs me to say your command will be increased. He has the highest confidence in your ability to conduct the flank which is instructed to you with success. He suggests that you take pack-saddles with you if possible, even if you have not mules, as sufficient stock will probably be captured to enable you it fit out your pack train, and your will find this highly useful in making rapid movements. For definite instructions you are directed to call upon Colonel Christensen, assistant adjutant-general. We leave a section of Napoleon guns of General Lucas' brigade at this point for lack of horses. If you wish it, and can obtain the stock to render it effective, order it to report to you. A detachment of about 200 men of General Lucas' command is expected here from Pensacola. In case it does not arrive within two days of this date, I have requested Colonel Christensen to order it to report to you.
Hoping to meet you at an early day, with heartfelt wishes for your success, I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. L. WOODWARD,
HEADQUARTERS THIRD CAVALRY BRIGADE,
In Rear of Stockton, on Claiborne Road, April 17, 1865.
Major S. L. WOODWARD,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Cavalry Forces:
The letter containing orders from the brevet major-general commanding is just receive, in reply to which I have the honor to report that the animals of my command are somewhat fatigued and needing rest and forage. I desire to return by the Claiborne road, by which I came, and will join the column at a point east of claiborne, near Monroeville, if the general commanding has no objections, as there are places by this route where forage can be obtained, and also for the reason that several of my horses have given out on the march, and I can remount the men who were thus dismounted. The prisoners were some distance in advance when your orders were received, with an escort, and it being necessary for Captain Steele, commissary of subsistence, to return to Blakely to transact some business connected with his department, I sent him on with the prisoners, with instructions to rejoin the command as soon as possible. There is one company of the First Louisiana Cavalry doing escort duty with Major-General Steele. I respectfully [ask] it may be relieved and ordered to report to the regiment. I will continue my march by the road I came, in the direction of Claiborne, unless I receive orders from you to the contrary.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
T. J. LUCAS,
*See paragraph 3, Special Field Orders, Numbers 35, p. 369.