MAY 5, 1863 - 9.40 a. m.
The major-general commanding directs that you send all your available men that can be spared from other trains and bridges to United States Ford.
CHAS. W. WOOLSEY,
Lieutenant, Aide de Camp.
HEADQUARTERS, May 5, 1863 - 12 m.
General D. BUTTERFIELD,
United States Ford:
Lieutenant Woolsey's dispatch just received, and Major Perry and all the engineer troops at headquarters that can be spared from the trains there are ordered by telegraph to report forthwith at United States Ford. Two hundred men more can be spared from the trains here if the destruction of the twenty-eight boats and their equipage is authorized.
The boats are very worthless, and it is the strong opinion of the three senior field officers of the brigade here that they ought to be destroyed; otherwise that they will cost in property, and perhaps in life, far more than their value, and though I have wished to make an effort to save them, I fear they have too much reason for their opinion. Am I authorized to destroy these twenty-eight pontoons and their equipage if I judge best, and return the wagons and teams, of far more value, to headquarters? The enemy command the location of the bridges and of the valleys leading to them, and shelled them accurately last night and to-day. I have not yet been able to find the written dispatch that I was verbally told had been sent here that I was to report at United States Ford, though I have sought for it at the telegraph station. They are now shelling my park, where I am writing this, near the Blake horse. I trust to an early reply as to destroying the trains.
H. W. BENHAM,
May 5, 1863 - 1 p. m.
Early's, Anderson's, and McLaws'. Will send you the regiments by Manning.
PHILLIPS' HOUSE, VA., May 5, 1863 - 1.45 p. m.
(Received at A. A. G. O., Falmouth, Va., 2.45 p. m.)
About one brigade of infantry, column much broken, just passed down the Richmond Telegraph road on crest of second ridge in rear of the city. Six pieces of artillery, one wagon, and one ambulance passed in front of the Landon house, moving toward our left, and disappeared in ravine where enemy's lines formed for attack on Sedgwick's left yesterday. Twelve pieces of artillery crossed the same ravine, moving toward the right, and disappeared in ravine in front of the Dahlman
27 R R-VOL XXV, PT II