War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0012 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter XLVIII.

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being interrupted or followed until at least he was well advanced, and to concentrate the troops on this command that were marching round from Petersburg, so that they should not re-enforce Lee, I marched my whole column, leaving a force of observation upon the enemy at Petersburg, and made at Petersburg, and made demonstration upon the intrenched lines of the enemy around Drewry's Bluff, and remained before them until I learned from the Richmond press that General Kautz had cut the railroad at Coalfield and had safely arrived at the bridge over the Appomattox. Meanwhile we had assaulted and carried the first line of the enemy's works which extends from Drewry's Bluff over the railroad and around to Manchester. On Monday morning about sunrise the enemy, having received re-enforcements which made them then equal to my command, taking advantage of a very thick fog, made an attack upon the right of General Smith's line, and forced it back in some confusion loss. As soon as the fog lifted General Smith's lines were established and the enemy was driven back to his original lines. The troops having been on incessant duty for five days, three of which were in a rainstorm. I retired at leisure within my own lines. At the same time with the attack upon my front the enemy made an attack upon the forces guarding my rear from Petersburg, in an endeavor to get possession of my intrenched lines. The attack was handsomely repulsed. We hold the railroad between Petersburg and Richmond. Prisoners inform us that Davis and Bragg were present in person.

BENJ. F. BUTLER,

Major-General, Commanding.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

HEADQUARTERS IN THE FIELD, May 18, 1864.

(Via Fort Monroe, 19th.)

(Received 7.25 a. m.)

General Kautz returned last night to City Point with his command. He cut the Danville railroad at Coalfield Station, Powhatan, and Chula Stantions, burning depot, water-tanks, and two freight trains and a locomotive, with large quantity of commissary and other stores; then, crossing below, cut the Petersburg and Lynchburg Railroad at Wilson's, Wellville, and blacks and Whites Stantions, destroying switches, tank, station-houses, and the track for many hundred feet; then, crossing the Petersburg and Weldon road at Jarratt's Station, again burned the water-tank, newly built since the former cutting, tore up the track and destroyed the rails, some of which had been railed, although much twisted by the fire-altogether a most successful expedition. The enemy are now moving down from Richmond in large force to cover the turnpike and railroad opposite my position, so as to repair it. We have captured some of Longstreet's men and the Charleston (South Carolina) City Battalion.

B. F. BUTLER,

Major-General, Commanding.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.