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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sheridan March 1865- The Last Campaign

                                                         No. 1.
Report of Maj. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan, U. S. Army, commanding expedition.

             New Orleans, La., July 16,1865.
GENERAL: I have the honor to make the following report of the operations of my command in the campaign from Winchester, in the Shenandoah Valley, to the armies in front of Petersburg, beginning February 27 and ending March 28:
 . . .
At daylight on the morning of the 16th we leisurely resumed the march to White House, encamping at Mangohick Church; on the 17th we marched to and encamped at Prince [King] William Court-House; on the 18th we reached Indiantown; and on the 19th crossed the Pamunkey at White House, on the railroad bridge which had been repaired by Lieutenant-Colonel Babcock, of Lieutenant-General Grants staff. We here found supplies in abundance.
The amount of private and public property collected for the use of the enemy and destroyed, and the destruction of lines of communication and supplies, was very great and beyond estimating. Every bridge on the Central railroad between Richmond and Lynchburg, except the one over the Chickahominy, and that over the James River at Lynchburg, and many of the culverts, were destroyed. The James River Canal was disabled beyond any immediate repair.
There perhaps never was a march where nature offered such impediments and shrouded herself in such gloom as upon this; incessant rain, deep and almost impassable streams, swamps, and mud, were overcome with a constant cheerfulness on the part of the troops that was truly admirable. Both officers and men appeared buoyed up by the thought that we had completed our work in the Valley of the Shenandoah, and that we were on our way to help our brothers-in-arms in front of Petersburg in the final struggle.
Our loss in horses was considerable, almost entirely from hoof-rot. After refitting at White House, until the 24th [25th] instant, we resumed our march, crossed the Chickahominy at Jones Bridge, arriving at and crossing the James River on the evening of the 25th [26th] of March, and on the following day [27th], by direction of the lieutenant- general, went into camp at Hancocks Station, on the railroad, in front of Petersburg.
. . .

 -The war of the rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies. ; Series 1 - Volume 46 (Part I)

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