I received the following from Sec. Stanton,
WASHINGTON, October 22, 1864 12.30 p. m.
There is a strong belief prevailing among the rebel sympathizers here that a large force has been detached against Sheridan, and that while the attack upon him Wednesday was repelled, it was because it had been prematurely made before the re-enforcements reached Early. I have an intercepted cipher dispatch which favors this view. It is so important to the safety of individuals that I am unwilling to run the risk of its getting to the knowledge of any one else but yourself and your cipher operator, and therefore request you to be present when it is translated, and immediately destroy it. We have nothing from Sheridan since 11 a.m. Thursday.
E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
I do not believe that any substantial amount of troops have been sent from this place. I replied,
CITY POINT, VA., October 22, 1864.
Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
Your confidential dispatch of 12.30 p. m. this date is received. I do not think it possible that any brigades, or even regiments, have gone from here to re-enforce Early. The number of deserters coming in daily fixes all the commands of Lee. From deserters of to-day I learn that
Early had been re-enforced from men who have been returned to the service from hospitals and by relieving detailed men, but in no other way. Some troops may also have joined him from Lynchburg and Southwest Virginia, but after Sheridan’s splendid victory, it will only
count that much more, if this proves to be so.
U. S. GRANT,
The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 336
O.R., I, xliii, part 2, p 444