papers and other articles removed, and after much insult nd delay I was permitted to return to this point without further molestation. Some of the official papers were returned. I deem it unquestionably unsafe to forward supplies under existing circumstances, and in consultation with Colonel Schriver, inspector-general, military governor, and Surg. Edward B. Dalton, U. S. Volunteers, medical director, they constitute. As I found these independent bands in force between our lines and Wilderness Tawern bent on plunder of whatever description as one of the six met informed me, an armed escort will subject the train to certain capture, while an unarmed one will be useless to repel any attack that may be made by guerrillas before it could reach the enemy's picket-line. I hasten to present your headquarters.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
ED. D. W. BRENEMAN,
Asst. Surg., U. S. Army., Flag of Truce Officer.
BELLE PLAIN, May 23, 1864-2 p. m.
(Received 2.45 p. m.)
Chief of Staff;
I have six batteries of Reserve Artillery here with horses, most of the latter in a bad condition, ordered here by General Burnside. Shall I send them to Washington or take them to Port Royal? I am making every exertion to get away from here and Fredericksburg. Hope to do so to-morrow, and abandon both places for Port Royal.
J. J. ABERCROMBIE,
MAY 23, 1864-5.28 P. M.
Reserve Artillery and broken-down artillery sent back from army will be sent here to General Howe. Do not withdraw your forces till all public property at Fredericksburg, Belle Plain, and railroad is secured and embarked. Leave nothing to be plundered or destroyed by the enemy, unless you have different orders from General Grant.
H. W. HALLECK,
Major-General and Chief of Staff:
BELLE PLAIN, May 23, 1864-8 p. m.
(Received 8.50 p. m.)
General Grant's telegram of to-day, 5 p. m., contains similar instructions as your of same date as to disposition of property and removed of troops hence to Port Royal. The quartermasters tells me