e before Breckinridge's forces could reach there.
Having accomplished this long-desired object, the Federal forces withdrew across the mountains.
On the 27th of February, 1865, General Grant instructed 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.
Stoneman's force consisted of General A. C. Gillem's division.
The brigade commanders were Colonels S. B. Brown, W. J. Palmer, and J. K. Miller.
From Boone the command 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.