War of the Rebellion: Serial 104 Page 0497 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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cavalrymen at that point. He had captured 50 home guards, officers and men, and 1 piece of artillery. The officers and men he paroled to remain within the limits of their township until they should be exchanged or released by authority derived from the United States Government. To-day a flag of truce was presented on the bank of the river by a bearer of dispatches from General Wilson, accompanied by Colonel Royston, C. S. Army, who was the commander of the post at Selma. The latter informed me that he had scarcely force sufficient for a police guard and that he had not meditated hostility toward my command, but intended to evacuate Selma before our arrival. He came with our bearer of dispatches under the promise that he should be allowed to return and depart with his command. We found a hospital at Cahawba containing twenty-three of our sick men. They had been very kindly treated, as had those also who were left at Selma by General Wilson. A gun-boat is being made ready to take the bearer of dispatches to you, who will explain the object of his missing and give all the information which he has obtained en route from Macon, Ga., to this place, &c. I desire that instructions may be sent me as soon as practicable in regard to the suspension of hostilities agreed upon by Sherman and Johnston. As General Wilson has anticipated us in almost every particular, I shall probably until further orders confine my operations to putting Montgomery in a state of defense, with reference to permanent occupation. General Wilson burned up all the coal in this vicinity, which has disappointed our calculations and rendered it almost impossible to supply the fleet with fuel, especially the gun-boats, which require coal. The bridge over the Cahawba was destroyed by the rebels. The railroad company had commenced to build another. I have directed them to suspend operations until further orders. It is supposed that General Taylor will ask for a suspension of hostilities. I inclose dispatch just received from General Taylor by Colonel Royston, late commandant of this post.

Very respectfully, colonel, your obedient servant,

F. STEELE,

Major-General.

[Inclosure.]

MERIDIAN, April 27, 1865.

Colonel Y. L. ROYSTON,

Commanding Post:

Your telegram dated subsequent to your interview with General Steele is received. The dispatches from the east not yet reached here. The lieutenant-general commanding has, however, official information to the effect that an armistice with a view to a final settlement was agreed upon by Generals Johnston and Sherman on the 18th instant. He expects to make similar arrangements with General Canby, and is momentarily expecting a communication from that officer. Pending the present flag to General Canby he shall make no new disposition unless forced to do so by the enemy's movements. He had ordered the railroad above Selma to be rebuilt as soon as possible. He has no use for said road, but as a large and destitute population is dependent upon it for supplies, those repairs should be vigorously pushed to completion. The telegraph operator should, if possible, remain at Selma for the purpose of rapid communication and mutual convenience during the pending negotiations. You show this to Major General Steele, commanding U. S. forces, and obtain his views on these subjects.

By command of Lieutenant-General Taylor:

W. F. BULLOCK, JR.

32 R R-VOL XLIX, PT II