Today in History:

106 Series I Volume XLVI-III Serial 97 - Appomattox Campaign Part III

Page 106 Chapter LVIII. N. AND SE. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA.


Numbers 26. White House, Va., March 24, 1865.

The command will march promptly at 6 a. m. to-morrow in the following order, viz: First, Third Division; second, wagon train; third, First Division. The column will march via Jones' Brigade an Charles City Court-House toward Westover, on the James River. The First Division, after crossing the Chickahominy, will throw a brigade in rear of the pontoon train, which brigade will protect the taking up of the bridge.

By command of Brevet Major-General Merritt:


Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

March 24, 1865.

Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

In conformity with the wish expressed in your telegram of yesterday, I have the honor to inclose herewith statements of the strength and disposition of the troops under my command and of the force that could be liberated for an offensive movement. I do not wish to be understood as proposing a campaign, but to express my readiness and willingness to move up the Valley, if it shall be thought at any time hereafter by the lieutenant-general or the War Department to be desirable. The force I could bring together would perhaps be large enough to overcome any obstacle, except the difficulty of supplies. The only thing needful here is proper class of commanders-young, active, and enterprising; those who will inspect their commands constantly and enforce discipline. Some of the commanders along the line of the railroad are not exactly of this description, and are too much in the habit of acting only when ordered to correct evils pointed out to them, and which they should themselves discover. There are two generals in retirement at Hagerstown about whom I know nothing, except that they were sent to the rear by General Sheridan, and I have no use for them. Their rank prevents their being used in any but important places. I refer to Generals Max Weber and Sullivan. The situation here will be satisfactory with the proper kind of officers in command. I shall not hesitate to bring to the strictest accountability any officer in command of troops who comes short of what the occasion demands.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.

[Inclosure Numbers 1.]

Statement, in round numbers, of aggregate for duty in the Middle Military Division, as shown by recent reports.

Department. Infantry Cavalry. Artiller Total.

. y.

Department of 10,500 3,500 10,000 24,000


Department of 600 ........ ........ 600


Middle Department.... 1,300 250 250 1,800

Department of West 7,000 3,500 2,500 13,000


Army of the 6,500 2,500 500 9,500


New Regiments near 8,000 ........ ........ 8,000

Harper's Ferry.......

First Veteran Corps 3,100 ........ ........ 3,100


Total................ 37,000 9,750 a13,250 60,000

a Includes heavy and light artillery.

MARCH 24, 1865.

Page 106 Chapter LVIII. N. AND SE. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA.