Doing some much-needed sorting this morning and I noticed a dispatch that in hindsight can be viewed as ironic, or perhaps prophetic. While not about the Mule Shoe directly I thought I would share it.
Headquarters, May 7, 1864 – 10:30 a.m.
Lieut. Gen. R. S. Ewell, Commanding, &c.:
GENERAL: General Lee directs me to say that the Richmond Dispatch, of yesterday, contains extracts from a Northern paper which state that the United States Government has acceded to the demand of the Pennsylvania troops to be discharged at the expiration of three years from the date of their muster into the State service, instead of the United States service, and that 5,000 men will thus be lost to Grant’s army. It is said that the time of their discharge is to-day, but the general does not know certainly. Some two-years men were captured at Chancellorsville last year whose term of service expired a few days after the battle, and it may be that the three-years men enlisted at the same time. The general thinks it best to bear this in mind, to avoid being mislead by movements to the rear. I inclose the latest from General Stuart. very respectfully, your obedient servant, C. Marshall Lieutenant-Colonel and Aide-de-Camp.
OR Series I, Vol. 36
Interesting that a few days later General Lee himself would be mislead by wagons and ambulances on their way to Fredericksburg