MAY 9, 1864.
Commanding Department of Virginia, &c.:
GENERAL: I am of opinion that if your order General Gillmore to stop destroying the road at present, and to swing his right well around, he can take a force of rebels at the railroad junction, and perhaps take Petersburg early to-day. We can then destroy the road at our leisure.
WM. F. SMITH,
HEADQUARTERS, Near Railroad, May 9, 1864.
Dispatch received. General Gillmore is moving his troops to aid you as you suggest. We have got the railroad pretty well destroyed already.
BENJ. F. BUTLER,
MAY 9, 1864-12.30 p.m.
Please send word of your situation. The enemy are across Swift Creek, said to be fortifying. Can you enfilade their lines? Be careful your own are not enfiladed from the fort. We are on the railroad and have passed the Junction toward Petersburg and are advancing.
By commanding, &c.:
HEADQUARTERS, In the Field, May 9, 1864-6.35 p.m.
Upon consultation it is thought best that you should not advance beyond your picket-line before 7 o'clock, so that all the force may be drawn to the advance of General Smith. When you hear his guns and have word from him, engage the enemy and push on.
B. F. BUTLER.
HEADQUARTERS, May 9, 1864-9.30 p.m.
We have very good news from the Army of the Potomac. This involves change of plan. You will, therefore, not move on Peters-
38 R R-VOL XXXVI, PT II