War of the Rebellion: Serial 049 Page 0408 OPERATIONS IN N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLI.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

November 1, 1863.

Brigadier-General BENHAM,

Navy-Yard:

The major-general commanding directs that you have the following lengths of bridge material made complete immediately in every respect - animals, harness, and drivers - with the requisite number of army wagons, teams and drivers, provisions and forage: Four hundred and fifty feet of wooden pontoon bridging and 800 feet of canvas pontoon bridging. These bridge trains, complete in every respect, must be held ready to move at a moment's notice. They will first be moved by water and then by land to the point where they will be required for use. Another preparation must include that of their transportation by water, as well as their subsequent movement by land. This communication is confidential. The bridging now ordered is in addition to that ordered to-day at 2. 15 p. m.

A. A. HUMPHREYS,

Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

November 1, 1863.

Brigadier-General BENHAM,

Navy-Yard:

I learn from Captain Peirce that he has not animals for the 12 army wagons that are to accompany the pontoons, and requests that you will send the animals, harness, and drivers for them.

A. A. HUMPHREYS,

Chief of Staff.

HDQRS. DEPT. OF VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA,

Fort Monroe, Va., November 1, 1863.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Commander-in-Chief, U. S. Army:

GENERAL: I have gotten ready to start, and propose to move up the James River, on Wednesday morning, as far as Fort Powhatan; to land there and throw up works on both sides of the river; to start the cavalry at first toward Richmond, whipping and pursuing the force at Charles City Court-House as far as they can go; then to cross them over the river and to make a raid on Petersburg and the railroad between that city and Weldon. I trust this plan will meet with your approval. I can take a force of 4,500 infantry, 2,300 cavalry, and 500 artillery. I am quite sure that we can make a great noise, if nothing more, and draw off some force from General Lee.

I propose to hold and fortify every point on the James as far as we go, that, by being possessed by the enemy, would give him command of the river. From there, as sheltering points, cavalry raids can be easily made, and our supplies be secured by the way of the river. I wish very much that the force of infantry was greater, so that I could make a solid attack. As it is, I cannot venture to stir far from the river with the infantry and artillery. We will, however, do our best to worry the enemy. We can prevent the enemy gathering the crops on the river and in its vicinity, and thus distress