War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0856 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N.C. Chapter XLVIII.

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WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington, D. C, May 17, 1864.

Captain COLLINS,

Belle Plain:

You have no right to inspect telegrams for any purpose, and to do so without express authority of this Department would be a grave offense. The completion of the line across the river dispenses with your further service at Belle Plain. You are therefore relieved, and will immediately report at Washington, for further orders.

EDWIN M. STANTON.

Secretary of War.

BELLE PLAIN, May 17, 1864

(Received 9.15 a.m.)

Honorable E. M. STANTON:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your telegram, and in obedience to your order will start by first boat for Washington. The line is completed to this point.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. D. COLLINS,

Captain, Veteran Reserve Corps.

BELLE PLAIN, VA., May 17, 1864-12 midnight.

(Received 12.15 a.m. 18th)

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Chief of Staff:

Mosby, with about 200 men, attacked a detachment from Falmouth, within about 4 miles of this place, between Potomac Creek and the Fredericksburg road (three-quarters of a mile from the latter), and wounded the guide, Davis, in the head. I am about to dispatch 300 cavalry in pursuit. I have every reason to believe they are concentrating to make a descent on the depot, or to attack the train on its way to the front, as hundreds, of wagons are constantly on the road. Three hundred cavalry-all I have mounted-are not sufficient to guard trains, scour the country, picket, &c. There should be at least 800 or 900. The Eighth Illinois Cavalry, part of which I have, know this country.

J. J. ABERCROMBIE,

Brigadier-General.

HEADQUARTERS,

Belle Plain, May 17, 1864-8 a.m. (Received 8.40 a.m.)

WAR DEPARTMENT:

Two thousand dismounted cavalry are now debarking. As soon as they are off I will relieve some of the infantry who have been guarding prisoners and send them on. General Tyler, with 9,000 men, is now on the road, heading for the army. Eight of a party of dismounted rebel cavalry captured last night. Party dispersed.

J. J. ABERCROMBIE,

General, Commanding.