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essary for my safe return, so with rare judgment he desisted, zealously turning to the alternative proposition — the assault on Petersburg — for more significant results. This was the only occasion during the war in which I was associated with Hancock in campaign. Up till then we had seldom met, and that was the first opportunity I had to observe his quick apprehension, his physical courage, and the soldierly personality which had long before established his high reputation. On the 1st of August, two days after the mine explosion, I was relieved from the personal command of the Cavalry Corps, and ordered to the Shenandoah Valley, where at a later date Torbert's and Wilson's divisions joined me. Practically, after I went to the valley, my command of the Cavalry Corps became supervisory merely. During the period of my immediate control of the corps, I tried to carry into effect, as far as possible, the views I had advanced before and during the opening of the Wilderness campaign
uct or consolidate the different districts. After informing me that one division of the Cavalry Corps would be sent to my new command, he went on to say that he wanted me to push the enemy as soon as this division arrived, and if Early retired up the Shenandoah Valley I was to pursue, but if he crossed the Potomac I was to put myself south of him and try to compass his destruction. The interview having ended, I returned to Hancock Station to prepare for my departure, and on the evening of August 1 I was relieved from immediate duty with the Army of the Potomac, but not from command of the cavalry as a corps organization. I arrived at Washington on the 4th of August, and the next day received instructions from General Halleck to report to General Grant at Monocacy Junction, whither he had gone direct from City Point, in consequence of a characteristic despatch from the President indicating his disgust with the confusion, disorder, and helplessness prevailing along the upper Potoma
1866-5 P. M. Major-General P. H. Sheridan, Commanding Mil. Div. of the Gulf, New Orleans, La. Continue to enforce martial law, so far as may be necessary to preserve the peace; and do not allow any of the civil authorities to act, if you deem such action dangerous to the public safety. Lose no time in investigating and reporting the causes that led to the riot, and the facts which occurred. U. S. Grant, Lieutenant-General. In obedience to the President's directions, my report of August 1 was followed by another, more in detail, which I give in full, since it tells the whole story of the riot: headquarters Military division of the Gulf, New Orleans, La., August 6, 1866. His Excellency Andrew Johnson, President United States: I have the honor to make the following reply to your despatch of August 4. A very large number of colored people marched in procession on Friday night, July twenty-seven (27), and were addressed from the steps of the City Hall by Dr. Dostie, ex
o accept the Congressional plan of reconstruction. ”During the controversy over the Levee Commissioners, and the correspondence regarding the removal of Governor Wells, registration had gone on under the rules laid down for the boards. The date set for closing the books was the 30th of June, but in the parish of Orleans the time was extended till the 15th of July. This the President considered too short a period, and therefore directed the registry lists not to be closed before the 1st of August, unless there was some good reason to the contrary. This was plainly designed to keep the books open in order that under the Attorney-General's interpretation of the Reconstruction laws, published. June 20, many persons who had been excluded by the registration boards could yet be registered, so I decided to close the registration, unless required by the President unconditionally, and in specific orders, to extend the time. My motives were manifold, but the main reasons were that as