War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0204 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter XLVIII.

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to communicate with me, but, unsupported as he was by infantry or artillery, he was unable to dos o, except by sending a detachment by a circuitous route, which reached me after the work of the day was closed. At 4 p. m. all hope of Whiting's approach was gone, and I reluctantly abandoned so much of my plan as contemplated more than a vigorous pursuit of Butler and driving him to his fortified base. To effect this, I resumed my original formation, and directed General Hoke to send two brigades forward along the Court-House road, to take the enemy in flank, and establish enfilading batteries in front of the heights west of the railroad. The formation of our line was checked by a heavy and prolonged storm of rain. Meanwhile the enemy opened a severe fire, which was soon silenced by our artillery. Before we were ready to advance darkness approached, and, upon consultation with several of mu subordinate commanders, it was deemed imprudent to attack, considering the probability of serious obstacles and the proximity of Butler's intrenched camp. I therefore put the army in position for the night, and sent instruction to Whiting to join our right at the railroad in the morning.

During the night the enemy retired to the fortified line of his present camp, leaving in our hands some 1,400 prisoners, 5 pieces of artillery, and 5 stand of colors. He now rests there hemmed by our lines, which have since from time to time been advanced with every skirmish, and now completely cover the southern communications of the capital, thus securing one of the principal objects of the attack. The more glorious results anticipated were lost by the hesitation of the left wing and the premature half of the Petersburg column before obstacles in neither case sufficient to have deterred from the execution of the movements prescribed.

Too much praise cannot be bestowed on the officers and men who fought the battle of Drewry's Bluff for the ardor and intrepidity displayed by them whenever called upon to meet the foe, regardless of his advantage in numbers and position. I shall take pleasure in presenting the names of those who most distinguished themselves as soon as the detailed reports of subordinate commanders shall have been received at these headquarters. The same opportunity will be taken to mention the names and services of those members of my personal and general staff who were present during the battle, and of those officers who, belonging to other commands, kindly volunteered their services on that occasion. The intelligent zeal and activity of all these officers, in transmitting orders and conveying information from one portion of the field to the other, contributed largely to the success of the day.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,




Adjutant-General, Richmond, Va.


JUNE 23, 1864.

Respectfully submitted to the President, who will be interested by the explanations afforded in this report. They excite serious surprise in my mind.


Secretary of War.