This return is the only one made by Sheridan
to the Adjutant-General
prior to the battle of Winchester
; and, as it was accompanied by a statement of its incompleteness, I applied to his Headquarters for a return of his effective strength, but, owing to the loss of all his papers in the Chicago
fire, I was unable to obtain either the numbers or organizations detached from his army south of the Potomac
It was stated, however, that the garrisons of Harper's Ferry
, and other points, together with escorts to trains, were of sufficient size to reduce the force in the field to the numbers given in Sheridan
's report to Grant
, which were taken at the time from the official returns of effective or fighting strength present for duty.
But as these returns were never sent to Washington
, and were destroyed as above stated, it was impossible to furnish copies of them.
's Headquarters it was always understood that Sheridan
's effective force in the Valley
campaign was about thirty thousand men.