MACON, GA., May 8, 1865.
Major General WILLIAM T. SHERMAN:
MY DEAR GENERAL: Your letters from Raleigh and Savannah have been received. Permit me to write you a few lines unofficially. I believe that under the circumstances I have done everything you could have required, and have kept you and others duty informed. For your own information, however, I send you a copy of my summary of operations, from which you will see that in thirty days we marched over 500 miles, took 6,300 prisoners, 23 colors, and 156 guns, defeating forrest, scattering the militia, destroying every railroad, iron establishment, and factory in North Alabama and Georgia. From Montgomery to this place, 220 miles, we marched in six days, resting one at Columbus and West Point. I mention these things to show you that our cavalry is cavalry at last. You may not have forgotten our conversations in regard to the matter at Gaylesville, and your own remarks in regard to it. I'll remind you of them some of these days. I have now 13, 5000 men for duty in the three division with me, thoroughly armed, well mounted and equipped. I believe when you see them you will say with me, it is nothing more than the truth, that they cannot be excelled. I regard this corps to-day as the model for modern cavalry in organization, armament, and discipline, and hazard nothing in saying that it embodies more of the virtues of the three arms, without any sacrifice of those of cavalry, than any similar number of men in the world. From an undisciplined mob it has taken the most perfect discipline; from fragments of every variety it has taken a most coherent organization. The spirit of the men is magnificent, the officers are admirable, and think their corps invincible. this is strong language, and may look like self-gratulation, but it is simply for you, and should be your pride as well as mine. Without your carte blanche and the admirable assistance of General Thomas nothing could have been accomplished.
To put the test to my assertions, I would like to have the corps put in camp at any point you may designate, and everybody, including General Grant, who feels an interest in such matters, invited to review and inspect it; if you don't agree with me I shall acknowledge myself mistaken in my opinions.
I had previously disposed of my prisoners, including the generals, on simple paroles. I yesterday received the surrender of the Georgia State Line and Militia, including the commander-in-chief and General Wayne. They are all to be paroled as soon as possible. large numbers of Wheeler's cavalry are giving themselves up also.
Davis, Breckinridge, and Bragg, with the remnants of six cavalry brigades, were at Washington on the 4th, but were pressed so closely by our troops as to be compelled to scatter. Most of the cavalry has given itself up. Mr. D. is a fugitive, and my men looking for him in all directions. The treasure was mostly dropped about Washington, deposited with the citizens, and paid to the soldiers. I have directed General Palmer to gather it up.
I have recommended Brevet Major-General Upton and Brigadier-General Long for major-generals, Croxton and McCook for brevet major-generals, Brevet Brigadier-Generals Alexander and Winslow for full brigadiers; also Colonels Minty, Miller, and La Grange. With the exception of McCook, I think the officers I have just mentioned are the best cavalry officers I ever saw. They have richly earned their promotion, and I hope you will recommend General Grant to give it to them.
Very respectfully, yours,
J. H. WILSON.