War of the Rebellion: Serial 069 Page 0262 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter XLVIII.

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him. Two have reported as sent from Alexandria, the Perot and Varuna, and there are eleven plying here and in the adjacent waters, and that were here discharging cargo and now ready for service. Total here and ready to receive troops or other cargo, twenty-nine.

GEO. S. DODGE,

Captain and Assistant Quartermaster.

WASHINGTON, D. C., May 27, 1864.

R. O'BRIEN,

Butler's Headquarters:

I want you to prepare for work in direction of White House from Walliamsburg without delay. I do not know to what extent it will be necessary to continue working line to Butler's present headquarters, but hope we may be permitted to abandon it all to enable you to bring away operators, builders, and material. The line from Williamsburg to White House and beyond is of greatest importance; it will be the only means of communication with Grant, and must be built without a moment's delay. I need a building party from here to commence work at White House, continuing thence to Grant's headquarters. Confer with Sheldon as to plans and route to build upon. Answer quick. You must use all the arbitraries in your cipher. Important works should not come in English. Leave "snow" out. Butler's headquarters to work cipher with his card key, and direct him to use great care.

T. T. ECKERT.

HEADQUARTERS,

May 28, 1864.

Mr. SHELDON,

Telegraph Operator, Fort Monroe:

I should have no doubt that the telegraph rout most easily protected would be across the York at Gloucester Point, thence up to West Point, thence across the Mattapony between the two rivers. The route by the old road and New Kent Court-House would be broken all the time until General Crant crosses the Chickahominy.

BENJ. F. BUTLER,

Major-General, Commanding.

GILLMORE'S,

May 27, 1864.

Major-General BUTLER:

Will it be practicable for me to get the wire which I spoke of in my dispatch of yesterday? I recommend its use in front of the entrenchments.

Your obedient servant,

Q. A. GILLMORE,

Major-General.