Wilson's were reported to be at Malvern Hill this morning. They might, however, cross the river without my being informed of it promptly, an if you know of any one on the otehre side I wish you would instruct them to look out and inform me promptly of anymove they may make. I have about 3,000 mounted men and a battery of hourse artillery, but am suffering much for forage. My orders are to keep my forceinterposed between any force of the enemy advcning onourlines on this side of river, falling back if necessary and strngthe ing the threatened section. I hope by arrengements made to give due notice of any forces moving to the left or advancing in front.
RICHMON, d VA., May 19, 1864.
GenerL R. E. LEE,
Spotsylvania Court- House, Va.:
YOur telegram and letter received. The result of the atack on Butler was to drive him back to his intrnchments extending from DutchGap to Ashton Creek. GenerL Beauregard is intrnching in his front, and though he is reluctant to spare any considerable number of troops, insisting that youshould fall back to tehe Chickahominy, I have ordered that Pickett's division and Hoke's brigade should be brought here to be sent to you. Eill try to re-enforce you further, but cannot say to what extent it will be practicable. You can best judge of your situation, and must use your discretion.
[Indorsement by jefferson Davis upon Beauregard's memorandum, printed in VOL. XXXVI, Part II, p. 1021.]
MAY 19, 1864.
This memorandum was handed to me this day by Colonel Melton, Adjutant and Inspector Geenrl's Department, and is referred to you for attention. General Lee is best informed of his situation, and his ability is toowell established to incline me to adopt the opinion of any one at a distance as to the mobvements which his army should make, either for its own preservation or the protection of its communications. If 15,000 men can be spared for the flank movement proposed, certainly 10,000 may be sent to re- enforce General Lee's correspondence warrants the belief that he will defeat the enemy in Northern Virginia. The advatage of that result over a success against a besieging army around Richmond is obvious.
HAEADQUARTES ARMIES CONFEDERATE STATES,
Richmond, May 19, 1864.
His Excellency president DAVIS:
Mr. PRESIDENT; I inclose youcopy of my dispatch sent to General Beauregard from lyour office to- day, and his reply of this evening,
60 R R- VOL LI, PT II