Thursday, May 22, 2014

April 10, 1864 (Thursday): Prudent, Vivacious, &c

Fishback House Jeffersonton, Virginia (

JEFFERSONTON, April 10, 1864.
[General J. E. B. STUART:]
    GENERAL: I send you the following information, which comes from a source perfectly reliable. I am    indebted to a lady in Culpeper Court-House, who is very prudent, vivacious, &c., and whose opportunities for hearing are good, as she has been a good deal at Grant's headquarters. The sutlers, traders, and everything of the kind are ordered to pack up and leave within ten days. All extra baggage has been sent to Washington, and all persons not connected with the army ordered to leave.   The Eleventh and Twelfth Army Corps have been ordered here and are daily expected. The three consolidated corps are estimated at 75,000-25,000 each. Meade is expected to have 100,000 men when all re-enforcements come up. Guards and deserters report a large number of artillerymen as having arrived. General Grant has been to Fortress Monroe to confer with Butler, but has returned to the army. I can hear of no road in construction to Germanna. No fortification about the Court-House or Stevensburg. The roads are in shocking condition. Curduroy roads have been made all through the army. I will try to learn which way they will move. This can only be done from leakage from staff officers-General Grant's. You can judge of its merits. Desertions are very frequent. Forty are said to have escaped the other point. They all confirm these reports. This lady gathered this information from confidential conversations with officers. You know her, but I am requested to give no names. I will do my best at watching, and will try and advise you at an early period of movement, &c. Lewis went to Fauquier last week. I expected to have heard from him ere this. Will go there myself to-morrow and see what arrangements he has made to watch the railroad. I shall leave a man in Culpeper, with instructions to notify you of any movement, however. I will be gone only a few days. One of the men with me I have sent to his regiment-the bearer of this. I wrote to ColonelRandolph for another. I suppose there will be no difficulty about it. I willd irect the courier to go through as quickly as possible, though he will have the riverto swim. Will you do me the favor to ask Major McClellan to keep my letters until I send for them.
    I am, very truly, yours, most respectfully,


   Inclosed are some stamps for Major Venable.

Official Records, Series I., Vol. 51, Part 2, Pages 854-855.

Smith was a Lieutenant with Mosby's cavalry.  After the war, no less than Robert E. Lee vouched for his "abilities and honorable war record."  Here he details to Stuart the testimony of a civilian informant. 

No comments:

Post a Comment