South Carolina, to be there about the time you would reach Columbia. He could either have drawn off the enemy's cavalry from you, or would have succeeded in destroying railroads, supplies, and other material which you could not reach. At that time the Richmond papers were full of accounts of your movements, and gave daily accounts of movements in West North Carolina; I supposed all the time it was Stoneman. You may judge my surprise when I afterward learned that Stoneman was still in Louisville, Kentucky, and that the troops in North Carolina were Kirk's forces. In order that Stoneman might get off without delay, I told Thomas that three thousand men would be sufficient for him to take. In the meantime I had directed Sheridan to get his cavalry ready, and as soon as the snow in the mountains melted sufficiently, to start for Staunton, and go on and destroy the Virginia Central road and the canal. Time advanced, and he set the 28th of February for starting. I informed Thomas, and directed him to change the course of Stoneman towards Lynchburg, to destroy the road in Virginia as near to that place as possible. Not hearing from Thomas, I telegraphed him about the 12th [March] to know if Stoneman was yet off. He replied that he had not yet started, but that he, Thomas, would start that day for Knoxville to get him off as soon as possible. . . . Sheridan has made his raid with splendid success, so far as heard. I am looking for him at White House.Thus Stoneman was first ordered to co-operate with Sherman in his march through South Carolina; but Sherman passed through the state before Stoneman started. He was then directed to move into
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