War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0951 Chapter XLVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - CONFEDERATE.

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PETERSBURG, May 4, 1864. (Received, 9.30.)

General S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General:

I forward you reports received from lower James. Your dispatch ordering division to collect at Hanover Junction received. Have sent same to General Beauregard, who will designate officer to take command [sic] at present. Shall lose no time.

FORT BOYKIN, May 4, 1864.


Assistant Adjutant-General;

Scouts crossed the river last night and report that a heavy force of negroes landed at Old Point on Saturday, and marched up by land to Yorktown and Williamsburg. Force now estimated on the Peninsula is heavy, at least 50,000; some place it much higher. Burnside has not yet turned up; he was with Meade on Saturday, the 30th, at his headquarters. Many of the troops are from the South. All the fleet now lies off Old Point, only a few scattering vessels and the picket-boats lie at Newport News.


Major and Signal Officer.

DAY'S POINT, May 4, 1864.

General PICKETT:

The negro troops which landed at Old Point said to number 10,000. Butler is in command of the whole, variously estimated at from 50,000 to 70,000. Baldy Smith and Gillmore are in command of the white troops. Their papers report that Crittenden will be ordered to the Peninsula. A very large fleet of transports off Old Point. The enemy are particularly active. Three steamers ascending the river this morning with canal barges in tow. What the barges contained I am unable to say. Scouts are now in their lines watching their movements.


Major and Signal Officer.




May 5, 1864-11 p.m. (Received 6th.)


The enemy crossed the Rapidan yesterday at Ely's and Germanna Fords. Two corps of this army moved to oppose him-Ewell's, by the old turnpike, and Hill's, by the plank road. They arrived this morning in close proximity to the enemy's line of march. A strong attack was made upon Ewell, who repulsed it, capturing many prisoners and four pieces of artillery. The enemy subsequently concentrated upon General Hill, who, with Heth's and Willcox's divisions, successfully resisted repeated and desperate assaults. A large force of cavalry and artillery on our right flank was driven back by Rosser's brigade. By the blessing of God we maintained our position against every effort until night, when the contest closed. We have to mourn the loss of many brave officers and men. The gallant Brigadier General J. M. Jones was killed, and Brigadier General L. A. Stafford, I fear, mortally wounded while leading his command with conspicuous valor.

R. E. LEE.