Union General Phillip Sheridan writes to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton to report the January, 1865, return from Staunton, VA, of two scouts. The scouts reported that talk in Staunton centered on the possibility of a Confederate withdrawal from Virginia.
Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
January 5, 1865
Four thousand troops will be sent from Stephenson's Depot at 10 o'clock to-morrow. It will require that time to get transportation there. I will take the necessary precaution to prevent desertions, as far as possible. Two of my best scouts have just returned from Staunton. They represent a gloomy state of affairs, and that the common conversation is that Virginia will be given up. This information I send for what it is worth. It does not tally with the information received from deserters from Richmond yesterday.
P. H. SHERIDAN,
Bibliographic Information : Letter Reproduced from The War of The Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series 1, Volume 46, Serial No. 96, Pages 47, Broadfoot Publishing Company, Wilmington, NC, 1997.