MAY 1, 1863-8.45 p. m.
Dispatches just received-8.45 o'clock. Infantry will be ordered to Banks' Ford at once. I spoke of sending word to Washington; nobody thinks of going. Have telegraphed Peck of Hood's and Pickett's presence. Will telegraph Washington. My dispatches do not seem to have been understood. The utmost vigilance has been ordered from the start.
May 1, 1863-8.45 p. m.
The telegram for Sedgwick's demonstration reached him too late. Order it in immediately.
Copy for information of General Sedgwick.
CAMP NEAR FALMOUTH, VA.,
May 1, 1863-10 p. m.
Commanding Army of the Potomac:
I have just received the following dispatch from Benham:
BANKS' FORD, VA., May 1, 1863.
My reflection upon the information just brought by General Hunt, considering the alarm or watchfulness of the forces this p. m., leads me to the belief that they rather fear an attack from us, but my belief is that I can dispose my 600 men very effectively at the mouth of three ravines to resist them, but if we have a full division from any of the troops near here, I should feel we can defy them fully.
H. W. BENHAM,
There are now twenty-two guns of the Horse Artillery at Banks' Ford and a brigade of infantry ordered there. There will be in the neighborhood of thirty four guns in all in the morning. I have no data on which to base any reason or supposition of an attack on Banks' Ford. Benham says if h had a full division from any troops, he should feel that he could defy them. If he could not defy them from the river with thirty-two pieces of artillery and a brigade of infantry, he ought to be pitched into the river himself. I have never been there, but it can't be possible but this would hold it. It may be that he has an idea that he is to be attacked there. I have sent Colonel Platt there to-night, and a brigade of Gibbon's ordered there.
Very respectfully, &c.,
Major-General, Chief of Staff.