depend on position and movements of enemy. Dearing's cavalry is protecting the railroad to Weldon. All of your transportation and some artillery are between here and Weldon. Enemy have advanced with cavalry and infantry on Broadway and City Point road. Prisoners report three brigades skirmishing at Swift Creek.
MAY [15?], 1864.
Dispatch of this morning received. General Beauregard has ordered me to move with two brigades by Newby's Bridge over Swift Creek, thence to Drewry's Bluff. Send him at once the accompanying dispatch:
Expect to be at Newby's Bridge to-morrow night. Petersburg is much exposed; large quantities of supplies below this; raiders reported at Lawrenceville.
MAY [15?], 1864.
Enemy have advanced picket and lines on right bank of river very close. If they prove to be in force will interfere with move on left.
W. H. C. WHITING.
MAY 15, 1864.
Enemy means Petersburg. Can change his front from you here in one night. Think he means to attack me to-morrow. Troops have crossed and gone down the river. With forces cut in two by the river, if weak position of Swift Creek is forced cannot save the town, perhaps not the troops unless you help. Hope the enemy are well watched. I have not force enough. Send this to Richmond.
[MAY 15, 1864. - For Beauregard to Whiting, giving instructions for operations on the 16th instant, see p. 200.]
SPECIAL ORDERS, HEADQUARTERS,
Petersburg, May 15, 1864.
I. In consequence of orders received Brigadier-General Colston will relieve Brigadier-General Wise of the command of the First Military District, Department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia. General Wise will proceed according to orders heretofore communicated.