MAY 20, 1864-6 p. m.
I propose to move me entire command across the river to-morrow, if there is no objection, in order to get a permanent camp where I can refit men and horses. At present the command is very much scattered. A portion is already across the river, a portion is still at Portsmouth, and the main portion is here. Let me know if the measure is approved.
MAY 20, 1864-8.15 a. m.
Captain DODGE, Assistant Quartermaster:
Have you received any orders regarding transportation of men and horse from Portsmouth? If so, let me know and I will send officers to bring them up.
MAY 20, 1864.
I have received no orders regarding transportation of men and horses from Portsmouth.
GENERAL BUTLER'S HEADQUARTERS,
May 20, 1864-6 p. m. (Received 7.25 a. m. 21st.)
Brigadier-General SHEPLEY, Norfolk, Va.:
There are not 1,000 rebel cavalry south of the James, and they are Dearing's brigade, jaded by a 200-miles march from North Carolina. You can hold Norfolk, as long as we are here, with a corporal's guard.
B. F. BUTLER,
HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES,
In the Field, May 21, 1864-7 a. m. (Received 10.35 a. m.)
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
Chief of Staff:
I fear thee is oem difficulty with the forces at City Point which prevents their effective use. The fault may be with the commander, and it may be with his subordinates. General Smith, whilst a very able officer, is obstinate, and is likely to condemn whatever is not suggested by himself. Either those forces should be so occupied as to detain a force early equal to their own, or the garrison in the entrenchments at City Point should be reduced to a minimum and the remainder ordered here. I wish you would send a competent officer there to inspect and report by telegraph what is being done, and what in his judgment it is advisable to do.
U. S. GRANT,