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Chapter 48: organization of the freedmen's Bureau and my principles of action

By following the army movements it will be noticed that my column reached the vicinity of Petersburg, Va., at evening May 6, 1865. Here it rested Saturday and Sunday and renewed its march the ensuing Monday; and as the divisions went through the town we passed in review before a multitude of interested spectators.

At ten o'clock the morning of May 9th, we arrived at Manchester, opposite Richmond, where were General Halleck's headquarters. I paid a brief visit to the late Confederate capital, and after my return to Manchester, issued orders of march pursuant to General Sherman's instructions for my two corps to proceed via Hanover Court House to Alexandria and Washington. Blair's corps was to set out the 12th, and Logan's to follow on the 13th. I then with my staff intended to go on with Blair's head of column. But while there at Manchester, the following dispatch, which greatly surprised me, was placed in my hands:

Leave your army for corps commanders to bring overland and come on immediately yourself by water. Report on arrival to Secretary of War.

U. S. Grant, Lieutenant General.

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