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ales, which led me to suspect that he was employed by the enemy as well as by me. I felt, however, that with good watching he could do me little harm, and if my suspicions were incorrect he might be very useful, so I held on to him. Early in February Lomas was very solicitous for me to employ a man who, he said, had been with Mosby, but on account of some quarrel in the irregular camp had abandoned that leader. Thinking that with two of them I might destroy the railroad bridges east of Lyncceived from General Grant an intimation of what was expected of me. I therefore retained the men without even a suggestion of my knowledge of their true character, Young meanwhile keeping close watch over all their doings. Toward the last of February General Early had at Staunton two brigades of infantry under Wharton. All the rest of the infantry except Echol's brigade, which was in southwestern Virginia, had been sent to Petersburg during the winter, and Fitz. Lee's two brigades of cavalr
I was astonished by the party's return. Inquiring as to the trouble, I learned that out toward the Staked Plains every sign of the Cheyennes had disappeared. Surprised and disappointed at this, and discouraged by the loneliness of his situation — for in the whole region not a trace of animal life was visible-Custer gave up the search, and none too soon, I am inclined to believe, to save his small party from perishing. This failure put a stop to all expeditions till the latter part of February, by which time I had managed to lay in enough rations to feed the command for about thirty days; and the horses back at Arbuckle having picked up sufficiently for field service they were ordered to Sill, and this time I decided to send Custer out with his own and the Kansas regiment, with directions to insist on the immediate surrender of the Cheyennes, or give them a sound thrashing. He was ordered to get everything ready by March 1, and then move to the mouth of Salt Creek, on the North