Records Related to Augusta County Regiments

From: FRANKLIN A. STRATTON, Lieut. Col. Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, Cmdg. Regt.
May 14, 1865.

Union Colonel Franklin Stratton reports on his May, 1865, expedition to Charlottesville and Staunton. He discusses his arrival in Staunton, Union General Isaac Duval's efforts to parole Confederates, and the progress of confiscation of Confederate government property. Stratton also discusses the presence of robbers and bandits in the Valley.

Col. ED. W. SMITH,
Assistant Adjutant-Gen., Department of Virginia.

Charlottesville, Va.,

May 14, 1865.


I have the honor to make the following report of my expedition from Richmond to Staunton, and thence to this place, under instructions received from department headquarters on the 5th instant:

I left Richmond on the morning of the 6th instant with the entire effective strength of my regiment, consisting of 500 men, accompanied by fifty-five wagons. Marching via Louisa Court-House, Charlottesville, Rockfish Gap, and Waynesborough, I arrived near Staunton on the evening of the 10th of May. Learning there that Gen. Rosser had that morning left for Lexington, I did not enter town until the next day. I found Brig. Gen. I. H. Duval stationed there with one brigade of infantry and a regiment of cavalry, being a portion of his division--the Fourth Provisional Division of the Army of the Shenandoah. Gen. Duval had arrived there two days previous to my arrival, and had already paroled a large part of Rosser's men and taken possession of the trivial amount of rebel government stores found there. Gen. Duval therefore directed me to return to Charlottesville, in accordance with my instructions. A copy of his order is inclosed. I therefore, after resting my horses one day, left Staunton on the 13th, and returned to this place to-day. Gen. Rosser, up to the time of my departure, had made no visible preparation for paroling the remainder of his men, nor was their any tangible evidence of his intention to turn over any rebel government property whatever. After several interviews with him, I ascertained that the men of his command were entirely dispersed, and would only come in in small detachments, or singly, to be paroled. This would occupy, perhaps, several weeks, and as my supplies would permit me to remain but three or four days, it seemed proper that Gen. Duval should complete the business he had commenced.

Gen. Rosser stated, or rather admitted, that about nine pieces of artillery were concealed somewhere about Staunton and four pieces at Lexington. These, too, I left for Gen. Duval to find and dispose of. About eight pieces of artillery are said by Gen. Rosser to be at Pittsylvania Court-House. I have information of there being considerable rebel property concealed about Charlottesville, but have not yet had time to find it. This comprises small-arms buried or concealed in buildings and quartermaster and commissary stores in the hands of citizens in various localities.

Not many disorders have come to my notice through the country, but there is much need of a military post at this place to preserve order and protect the citizens from small bands of marauders and robbers infesting various localities between here and the Blue Ridge. The large number of negroes here will require for some time the interposition of military authority to adjust differences in regard to labor, property, and personal rights. I have maintained the strictest discipline and order in my own command during the march, and permitted no injury whatever to the property of citizens. The railroad is now open Keswick's Station, about seven miles from here, and will be opened within two or three days to the Rivanna River, some two miles distant. Supplies for troops at this point could, therefore, be furnished over this route.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Lieut. Col. Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, Cmdg. Regt.

Bibliographic Information : Letter Reproduced from The War of The Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series 1, Volume 46, Serial No. 95, Pages 1324-1325, Broadfoot Publishing Company, Wilmington, NC, 1997.

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