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[40] McDowell in Louisville, and make known to him, confidentially, the object of your trip. But this is not required of you. Communication with him by you is left entirely to your own judgment. Of course you can take with you such gentlemen of your staff as you wish, and it is best that the trip should appear to be one as much of pleasure as of business. ... You can return by Washington, and make a verbal report.

Ever ready to obey orders, Sheridan telegraphed to Washington “ Your letter arrived — all right.”

A party of ladies and officers, including a young lady who was the object of General Sheridan's courtship, was made up for this “ pleasure trip,” and a note to the Chicago journals told the world that General Sheridan, having got leave of absence, was about to spend his winter holidays in Cuba. It was understood to be his courting trip, to end on his return in bridal cakes and marriage bells.

Lying on the road from Chicago to Cuba, New Orleans might be reached without exciting much suspicion and distrust. The presence of ladies, among them a damsel to whom Sheridan was said to be vowed, would give his journey a holiday and

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