Headq'rs middle Military Div. Columbia, Va., Friday. Lieutenant General U. S. Grant, Com'dg Armies United States: General
--In my last despatch, dated Waynesboro', I gave a brief account of the defeat of Early by Custer's Division.
The same night this division was pushed across the Blue Ridge, and entered Charlottesville at 2 P. M., the next day. The Mayor of the city and the principal inhabitants came out and delivered up the keys of the public buildings.
The remaining eight pieces were thoroughly destroyed.
We have captured up to the present time, twelve canal boats laden with supplies of ammunition, rations, medical stores, &c.
I cannot speak in too high terms of Generals Merritt, Custer and Devin, and the officers and men of their commands.
They have waded through mud and water during this continuous rain, and are all in fine spirits and health.
Commodore Hollins, of the Rebel navy, was shot near Gordonsville while attempt
k Times has a long account of Sheridan's raid and the damage done to the farmers along the route, railroads, canals, etc. Custer moved upon Ashland with his division.
The account says:
Custer received information that Early was just ahead of hCuster received information that Early was just ahead of him with about one hundred and fifty men. Lieutenant-Colonel Whitaker was immediately ordered to advance as rapidly as possible, with detachments from the First Connecticut and Second Ohio.
As the men galloped past Custer he announced that the man whCuster he announced that the man who captured Early and the commander of his company should receive thirty days furlough.
The boys pushed on with a cheer, and every staff officer asked and obtained permission to join in the chase.
The chase commenced when within about six miles of Gcers entering the place at the same time, succeeded in cutting off Adjutant Auguste, of the Ninth Virginia infantry.
Custer immediately prepared for action, so as to compel Longstreet to show his face.
The Second New York, Colonel Fitzhugh, was