War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0521 Chapter XLVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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commanding officer of the division to which they are respectively assigned: Companies E, F, and M to the First Division; Companies B and L to the Second Division; Companies D and K to the Third Division.

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By command of Major General Q. A. Gillmore:

ED. W. SMITH,

Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS EIGHTEENTH CORPS, May 7, 1864-1 a.m.

Major General B. F. BUTLER:

The attempt on the railroad failed, because the enemy resisted with unexpected strength. The place could have been carried probably, but only with a loss which General Heckman did not consider it proper to suffer for this object and risking the possible annihilation of his command. It is proposed now to renew the attempt with a force that will overcome all opposition. General Heckman reports troops brought in by rail from both directions during the fight. Colonel Dutton and Captain West, who were present, report our troops as most ably handled and behaving with the greatest gallantry. General Heckman and both these officers are confident that the opposing forces consisted of veterans, and were little, if any, inferior in numbers, their position being one of great strength, although not fortified. Unless you have bad news from the Potomac Army, I think a detail of one brigade from each division in the entire command will be sufficient to make both the feints and real attack. I agree with Colonel Dutton in thinking that a strong feint should be made at same place, and the real attack elsewhere nearer Richmond. I recommend for the details from this command, the brigades of Generals Heckman and Burnham.

WM. F. SMITH,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS,

Bermuda Landing, May 7, 1864.

Major-General SMITH,

Commanding Eighteenth Army Corps:

GENERAL: I send you a copy of a dispatch* just received from Washington. No bad news there, but hurry up your defenses anyhow. Let there be every diligence in putting your line in posture of defense. The navy has been shelling out some pickets on the other side of the river.

BENJ. F. BUTLER,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS, May 7, 1864.

Major-General SMITH,

Commanding Eighteenth Army Corps:

I have ordered one brigade from each division of General Gillmore's command to report to you at 8 o'clock this morning, for the

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*See Stanton to Butler, p.471.

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