MAY 1, 1863-7.20 p. m.
GENERAL: Six guns are up here; ten more will come, certain, and more if General Sedgwick can send them. I have carefully examined the passes, and it is not practicable to prevent the passage of troops, if a serous attempt is made, without infantry, at least a very strong division. General Benham has but 600 men.
HENRY J. HUNT,
[Brigadier-General, Chief of Artillery.]
May 1, 1863-8.45 p. m.
Direct that the utmost vigilance be exercised by the commands of General Sedgwick and Gibbon to learn the earliest movements of the enemy on the opposite side of the river, and take all possible measures to prevent them. Direct General Gibbon to send one brigade of his division to Banks' Ford, and have a suitable officer sent there to see that they are properly posted to prevent crossing. General Hunt has already received orders to put guns in position to prevent the enemy's crossing. If the absence of one brigade should weaken General Gibbon too much, which I hope will not be the case, he must call on General Sedgwick for assistance. Telegraph all the information that you have concerning the re-enforce of the enemy from Richmond, to Washington, as it may have an important bearing on movements elsewhere. Say that all of the enemy's cavalry are in my immediate presence, which I trust will enable Stoneman to do a land-office business in the interior. I think the enemy in his desperation will be compelled to attack me on my own ground. Observe all his movements and inform me of them. In half an hour more I should probably have been engaged. I am all right.
May 1, 1863. (Received 8.45 p. m.)
You are mistaken in supposing I made an attack. The attack was ordered at 2 p. m., and at 1.30 the troops were moving into position, and attacked while moving. I don't know what you mean by talking of going to Washington.
Copy for information of General Sedgwick.
Nothing had been said to General Hooker of anybody or anything going to Washington except telegrams. The dispatches have evidently been mutilated or misinterpreted.