MAY 16, 1864.
You must move promptly up to our support on the right.
BENJ. F. BUTLER.
Above Aiken's Landing, James River, May 16, 1864-2. p. m.
(Received 10.30 a. m. 18th.)
Honorable GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy:
We have taken up torpedoes in Deep Bottom and Dutch Gap, and are removing present obstructions in river. Heavy firing near Drewry's Bluff from 7 to 8 this morning. Sheridan's cavalry are crossing from left to right bank, to join General Butler. All well.
S. P. LEE,
In the Field, May 16, 1864-9.45.
The enemy are ;passing troops over the rive on my right. Cannot this be prevented?
B. F. BUTLER,
ENTIRELY NEW BERNE,
May 16, 1864-8 p. m.
Will you please find out at the earliest possible moment the condition of the Dover road toward Kinston, as far as you can, even if your scouts go in sight of Kinston. As soon as you are perfectly sure that you know that, and also the condition of the railroad from your headquarters to Core Creek, or even beyond, please come and see me. If this can be done to-night successfully, do it; if you think best to postpone until to-morrow, do so, but be as quick as possible, for we have something on hand that will please you, I think. Do everything very quietly.
I. N. PALMER,
HDQRS. TWELFTH NEW YORK VOLUNTEERS CAVALRY,
Camp Palmer, May 16, 1864-9.30 p. m.
Brigadier General I. N. PALMER,
Commanding District of North Carolina:
GENERAL: At 4 this p. m. I sent out Captain Myers, with 60 men, with directions to proceed to Nethercutt's Forks, and from that place sent one platoon to Trenton, and another to Haskins', leaving a strong reserve at the forks. I gave him no intimation (for I had