War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0518 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N.C. Chapter XLVIII.

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CONFIDENTIAL.] HEADQUARTERS,

Bermuda Landing, May 7, 1864.

Honorable HENRY WILSON:

MY DEAR SIR: I must take the responsibility of asking you to bring before the Senate at once the name of General Gillmore, and have his name rejected by your body. General Gillmore may be a very good engineer officer, but he is wholly useless in the movement of troops. He has been behind in every movement. He has lost twenty-four hours here in putting his line in a state of defense; but, above all, he has refused to move when ordered. I directed him to co-operate in a movement with General Smith when he went to make demonstration on the Petersburg railroad, and he failed to do so, and then sent me word that he did not obey the order for reasons that seemed good to himself, and has not deigned to give me the reasons, although he has sent me a report of his operations, or, rather, want of operations. I have known General Gillmore only since he came here, but I find many of his troops are desirous of getting away from him. I have a good corps commander here in his place. Show this to Wade, Chandler, and Fessenden, and bring the matter to vote at once. I write only for the good of the service. We have made demonstration to-day on the railroad; cut it, and are about to destroy it permanently. If we can hold on here we can drive Lee out of Virginia. His great line of supplies and operations is gone. We have been eminently successful thus far. If you desire to know exactly where we are, take map, look up Point of Rocks on the Appomattox, then look across to Farrar's Island on the James. That is our line directly on the rebel communications. We are intrenching here; will then advance from this base. Telegraph your action; time is important.

BENJ. F. BUTLER.

HEADQUARTERS,

Bermuda Landing, May 7, 1864.

Major-General GILLMORE,

Commanding Tenth Army Corps:

GENERAL: I send you a copy of dispatch just received.* It will be necessary to put your line in posture of defense at once. Your rations will be along in time. I took your teams for the purpose of sending along your shovels; work first, eat afterward. I presume the reasons for not making the demonstration ordered were perfectly satisfactory to you. I trust they will be to me when I see them. The navy has been shelling out some pickets on the other side of the river.

B. F. BUTLER,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS TENTH ARMY CORPS, May 7, 1864.

Major General B. F. BUTLER:

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that the line occupied by the Tenth Army Corps yesterday afternoon is somewhat in advance

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*See Stanton to Butler, May 6, 1864, p.471.

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