In the Field, May 14, 1864-7 p. m.
Your dispatch received. My compliments to General Sheridan. Say to him I think he had better not come over, but should be happy to receive him. Give him all the forage, and rations he needs. Tell him I have reliable information from a deserter and a prisoner that to-night there are but 200 men at Chaffin's farm, 13 miles only from where he is, and opposite where I am now fighting. All the rest have been hurried over to fight me. They have no bridge. Can he not take Chaffin's farm?
BENJ. F. BUTLER.
IN THE FIELD, May 14, 1864-9 p.m.
Since I wrote a hurried note to Lieutenant-Colonel Fuller. I have thought best to request you to join me with your command. You can aid us very much in our operations here, and, as we shall soon be joined by Lieutenant-General Grant, you will be able best here to report to him. I wish you might be able to capture Chaffins' farm as I suggested in my note to Colonel Fuller. At any rate, I wish you would do this service to the navy. They are much annoyed by torpedoes. These torpedoes are exploded by means of galvanic batteries on the shore. The person who brings the note will have with him a negro who can give you all information in regard to torpedoes. Please send up a force along the north bank of the James as far as Chaffin's farm, and make diligent search for torpedoes and the wires. Burn any house where such machines are harbored. Captured and bring to me all persons that have anything to do with them. I shall be most happy to see you personally at the earliest possible moment.
BENJ. F. BUTLER.
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY CORPS,
Camp at Bottom's Bridge, Va., May 14, 1864.
First Monroe, Va.:
SIR: I am now marching from this point to Harrison's Landing to communicate with Major-General Butler. I am out of supplies for my men and animals, and have a large number of wounded. Make arrangements to supply me at once at Harrison's Landing, unless they have already been made. Forward the inclosed dispatch* to Major-General Meade, through the War Department, by telegraph, without delay. There should not be a moment's delay in sending me rations and forage. I have 14,000 animals and 12,000 men.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
P. H. SHERIDAN,
*See May 13, Part I, p. 776.