that the Reserve Artillery can be better shipped from Port Royal for want of transportation here. A portion of it may be wanted for the protection of that depot. General Grant directs that I withdraw all guards. If I do so the telegraph between Pope's Point and Port Royal will be cut in less than six hours after the troops leave the north side of the Rappahannock. This being the only line of telegraph between the army and Washington, I will leave a strong guard of infantry and cavalry to protect it. This will also guard the river from Port Royal to its mouth. Everything will be in readiness to abandon Belle Plain to-morrow.
J. J. ABERCROMBIE,
Belle Plain, May 23, 1864.
Major General C. C. AUGHR,
Washington, D. C.:
After abandoning this post troops will march overland to Port Royal.
J. J. ABERCROMBIE.
FREDERICKSBURG, VA., May 23, 1864.
Dr. Dalton, medical director here, informs me that the transport with wounded, will leave here in all probability by 3 o'clock; one and perhaps two may start before that time. The medical director has received instructions from the Surgeon-General to remove all the wounded by water. Therefore, at present, the cars cannot be used for that purpose. The Surgeon-General has been asked to revise.
MAY 23, 1864.
The Secretary thinks you had better go to Belle Plain to-night and see that all public property at that place, Fredericksburg, and Aquia railroad is removed the troops are withdraw, so that nothing of value be left to be plundered by the enemy's guerrillas. I have directed General Abercrombie to send to General Howe the Reserve Artillery and artillery horses sent back from the army.
H. W. HALLECK,
Major-General and Chief of Staff.
Belle Plain., Va., May 23, 1864.
Colonel E. SCHIFER,
The cars are ready now to take the sick and wounded, such as could be transported, to Aquia Creek, by way of the Aquia Creek and Fredericksburg Railroad, but if the barges are at Fredericksburg, and