perations on the main line and not specifically marked out in the original plan, attained in its brilliant execution and results all the proportions of an independent campaign.
On the 8th of May, just after the battle of the Wilderness, and when we were moving on Spotsylvania, I directed Sheridan, verbally, to cut loose from the Army of the Potomac, pass around the left of Lee's army and attack his cavalry; to cut the two roads-one running west through Gordonsville, Charlottesville, and Lynchburg, the other to Richmond; and, when compelled to do so for want of forage and rations, to move on to the James River and draw these from Butler's supplies.
This move took him past the entire rear of Lee's army.
These orders were also given in writing through Meade.
The object of this move was threefold: 1.
If successfully executed — and it was — he would annoy the enemy by cutting his lines of supplies and telegraphic communications, and destroy or get for his own use supplies in store
Mounted Rifles, in command of a small brigade of Confederate cavalry, was sent into Kentucky
Map of operations against the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, Lynchburg, Va., to Knoxville, Tenn. from the Department of South-western Virginia to secure forage and cover other military movements.
Colonel Clay first advanced upon Paied General Thomas, commanding the Department of the Cumberland, to direct General Stoneman to repeat the raid of last fall, destroying the railroad as far toward Lynchburg as he can.
Stoneman set out from Knoxville about the 20th of March, and moved, via Morristown and Bull's Gap, across Iron Mountain to Boone, North Carolina.
Stnd crossed the Blue Ridge to Wilkesboro‘, and then turned toward south-western Virginia, destroying the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad from Wytheville nearly to Lynchburg.
On the 9th of April Stoneman moved again into North Carolina, via Jacksonville, Taylorsville, and Germantown.
At Germantown the force divided, Palmer's brigad