HEADQUARTERS EIGHTEENTH ARMY CORPS, In the Field, near Petersburg, Va., May 8, 1864.
Brigadier General W. T. H. BROOKS,
Commanding First Division:
GENERAL: The general commanding desires that you will issue the necessary orders immediately to have the cartridge-boxes of the men filled, and to take 20 rounds in their pockets. Ammunition chests of the artillery will be properly filled. The men will fill their canteens, and take one day's rations in haversacks. Your whole command, excepting one brigade, which you will designate and which will remain behind, will be in readiness to move at daybreak to-morrow. The pickets will not be removed.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Assistant Adjutant-General.
JAMES RIVER, May 8, 1864-9 a.m. [Via Fort Monroe, 9th. Received 4.30 p.m.]
Hon. GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy:
I have just seen General Butler, who informed me that there was no military necessity for the naval vessels to go up to North Reach, as the height of the land there was such that they could render him no assistance, and that the occupation by the navy off Curl's Neck Reach will afford the army all the protection that it requires, from which my communications can easily be kept open.
S. P. LEE,
Acting Rear-Admiral, Flag-Ship Malvern.
HEADQUARTERS SAINT MARY'S DISTRICT, Point Lookout, May 8, 1864.
Major R. S. DAVIS,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Fort Monroe:
MAJOR: J. W. McDonald, keeper of the Smith's Point light-ship, sends word that he has information from shore that Johnston's army is arriving at Richmond.
A. G. DRAPER,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA, New Berne, N. C., May 8, 1864.
Major R. S. DAVIS,
A. A. G., Hdqrs. Dept. of Va. and N. C., Fort Monroe, Va.:
MAJOR: Since my letter of yesterday several deserters from the rebel forces have come in, and they all state that the force of the enemy in the last demonstration here was there brigades, that of Corse, Kemper, and a South Carolina brigade, probably that of Evans, who, I understand, was recently in Kinston, but who was so severely injured by a fall from his horse that he was unable to be with his command. At 10 o'clock on the 6th instant this force left very suddenly for Kinston. Our cavalry followed them to Pollocksville,