WASHINGTON, May 12, 1864 - 3.40 p. m.
James River, Va.:
The Fifth Massachusetts Colored Regiment (about 1,200 men) and the First Connecticut Heavy Artillery, Colonel Abbot (about 1,800 men), have been ordered to report to you at Bermuda Landing. Colonel Abbot's regiment has been designated by General Grant for a special service, and, in the mean time, will be used by you to hold your defenses, but will not be sent into the field, as the lieutenant-general may, at any moment, order them to be detached for special service.
H. W. HALLECK,
Major-General and Chief of Staff.
In the Field, May 12, 1864 - 11.20 a. m.
GENERAL: Yesterday morning Kemper's, Clarke's,* Ransom's, and one other brigade left Petersburg and encamped last night just 4 miles this side. This morning they moved at daylight up turnpike toward Richmond. Yesterday General Hoke passed up on north side of turnpike toward Dr. Howlett's, very probably the same that was reported by pickets last night.
BENJ. F. BUTLER,
OLD PIKE, May 12, 1864 - 12.25 p. m.
I have just received your dispatch of 11.20 a. m. I understand from it that all the troops you mention are now in Smith's front. I think he must have engaged their rear guard. Ames is in position and Terry coming up. I inclose dispatch just received from my signal officer on Dr. Howlett's house.
Your obedient servant,
Q. A. GILLMORE,
HEADQUARTERS TENTH ARMY CORPS,
In the Field, near Hatcher's Va., May 12, 1864.
Commanding First Division, Tenth Army Corps:
GENERAL: The major-general commanding directs that you hold two of the strongest brigades of your command, with two batteries, in readiness to support a movement in front, to march in light marching order with two days' cooked rations. It is not expected that they will be called on to go far.
Very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
ISRAEL R. SEALY,
Captain, Forty-seventh New York Vols., A. A. A. G.
* See Farquhar to Smith, May 12, 11 a. m., p. 689.