War of the Rebellion: Serial 040 Page 0293 Chapter XXXVII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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must have that, and move to command the Plank road, which is the line of the enemy's retreat. As soon as you uncover United States Ford, you will be re-enforced by C. (two divisions), and then probably by S.'s entire command. The general will be up to-morrow. The bearer, if he succeeds in reaching you, may be able to return with a dispatch from you.

DANL. BUTTERFIELD,

Major-General and Chief of Staff.

CAMP NEAR FALMOUTH, VA.,

April 29, 1863.

Major-General COUCH,

Commanding, &c., United States Ford:

General Hooker directs that you establish communication with General Meade, at Ely's Ford, Rapidan, or vicinity to-night. Use a pontoon boat or raft across Rappahannock. Swim a horse, if necessary, above its junction with Rapidan. Send following to Generals Meade and Slocum:

General Hooker learns that pontoon bridge has been made use of for crossing cavalry. He prefers that no dragoons should have crossed the Rappahannock. If fords at Germanna and Ely's should be impracticable for artillery, cross infantry without waiting for artillery (infantry can raise cartridge-boxes) or trains, and drive enemy from before United States Ford.

Send them also, if you have it, copy of dispatch sent to Comstock, at Kelly's. Don't let dispatches get captured.

Very respectfully, &c.,

DANL. BUTTERFIELD,

Major-General and Chief of Staff.

SUFFOLK, VA., April 29, 1863.

Major-General HOOKER,

Headquarters Army of the Potomac:

I think I can hold Longstreet here for some time, which will favor your operations very materially. When he retires, it will only be to his two railroads, where he can go to Lee or strike at me, according to circumstances. You and I will have plenty of work. He is bridging the Blackwater for railroad purposes. The impression is strong that Hill will leave North Carolina and join Longstreet.

JOHN J. PECK,

Major-General.

(Copy to General Halleck.)

APRIL 29, 1863.

Major-General PECK or DIX,

Suffolk, Va:

I have fully commenced my operations here. The result may be to draw from your front, and afford you and opportunity to push or hold them.

JOSEPH HOOKER,

Major-General, Commanding.