October 1, 1864--10 a. m.
I have ordered Gen. Wilson to report to Sherman. He is the best man for the position. I have devastated the Valley from Staunton down to Mount Crawford, and will continue. The destruction of mills, grain, forage, foundries, &c., is very great. The cavalry report to me that they have collected 3,000 head of cattle and sheep between Staunton and Mount Crawford. The difficulty of transporting this army through the mountain passes onto the railroad at Charlottesville is such that I regard at as impracticable, with my present means of transportation. The rebels have given up the Valley, excepting Waynesborough, which has been occupied by them since my cavalry was there. I think that the best policy will be to let the burning of the crops of the Valley be the end of this campaign, and let some of this army go somewhere else.
P. H. SHERIDAN,
Bibliographic Information : Letter Reproduced from The War of The Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series 1, Volume 43, Serial No. 91, Pages 249, Broadfoot Publishing Company, Wilmington, NC, 1997.