War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0517 Chapter XLVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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BERMUDA LANDING, May 7, 1864-1 p.m.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

We got into position yesterday. Are intrenching for fear of accident to the Army of the Potomac. Sent out a reconnaissance yesterday on the Petersburg railroad. Have sent two divisions this morning to take possession of the road. Up to this moment have exceeded my lost sanguine expectations. The fleet have lost gunboat by a torpedo. The operator shot. Have telegraph communication with Jamestown Island.

BNEJ. F. BUTLER,

Major-General.

WASHINGTON, D. C., May 7, 1864-7.20 p.m.

Major-General BUTLER,

Fortress Monroe:

No communication from General Grant has been received since the date of my telegram last night, nor any reliable information, except that a severe engagement took place yesterday without any decisive result. Various conflicting reports are in circulation of success and disaster on both sides, but they are mere conjectures or inventions. Fulton, of the Associated Press, applied to-day for leave to publish your dispatch to General Grant, which he says was forwarded to him from Fortress Monroe by mail. As it cannot be supposed that General Grant would desire to have official communications to him published in the newspapers without his consent, allow me to suggest the propriety of an inquiry [as to] who transmitted your dispatch to Fulton.

EDWIN M. STANTON.

BERMUDA LANDING, May 7, 1864. (Received 12.10 p.m. 8th.)

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

We have made demonstration to-day on the railroad between Petersburg and Richmond, and have succeeded in destroying a portion of it, so as to break the connection. We have had some pretty severe fighting to do, but have succeeded. We hear from a rebel deserter and a citizen that Lee is dangerously wounded; Pickett also; Jones and Jenkins killed. We have no news from General Grant. If he has been in any degree successful, then can we not have here 10,000 of the reserves? They can be here in ten days after the lieutenant-general gives the order. Transportation is at Annapolis for them. If the Army of the Potomac is unsuccessful, then we want them here for the safety of the country. Please send them forward. Beauregard is in command in person. In three days our lines will be perfect. We have to strongly garrison three points on the river to save our transportation, which weakens us a good deal for a movable column. All is submitted to your judgment.

BENJ. F. BUTLER,

Major-General.