In the Field, May 28, 1864.
MY DEAR WILSON:
You do not seem to have received my letter of May 7. I therefore inclose a copy of it.* After very considerable experience with General Gillmore I see no cause to alter any suggestion in it. You will allow me to say that there is not a word of truth int he report about Gillmore's supposed advice to me in regard to fortifying our lines before Drewry's Bluff. I have his written contradiction of it, which I have forwarded to the Evening Post, where the story was started by an officer of his command for his own self-glorification. I am convinced, and I think it is the judgment of any well judging officer, that General Gillmore is not fit for the command he exercises. I take leave to inclose to you also a copy of our correspondence and a copy of the newspaper article, which you may not have seen.
I am, truly, yours,
BENJ. F. BUTLER,
Major General, Commanding Dept. of Virginia and N. Carolina.
WASHINGTON, May 28, 1864-12 noon.
Generals BUTLER and GILLMORE:
The Richmond and Danville and the Richmond and Gordonsville Railroads are 5 feet gauge, and the other roads west of Richmond are 4 feet 8 1/2 inches gauge. The roads in North Carolina are 4 feet 8 1/2 inches. If you can keep the road between Richmond and Hicksford cut anywhere, it will prevent the rebels from withdrawing the rolling-stock on the Virginia railroad. In the removal of ;this rolling-stock they can afford to make a desperate struggle, and it is worth much to prevent their success.
M. C. MEIGS,
FORT MONROE, VA., May 28, 1864-11 a. m.
(Received 11.15 a. m.)
Brigadier General D. H. RUCKER,
Your dispatch in cipher received. You are mistaken. We have no forage afloat at this place, and but three or four days' supply in store for animals in vicinity. Lieutenant Webster reports forage afloat at the front, and the requisitions of General Butler for reserve supply, about which I telegraphed you and Quartermaster-General, are but partially filled, and Colonel Shaffer, chief of staff, is writing daily to hurry up the remainder. Am sure General Butler will not consent to withdrawal of any forage from Bermuda and General Meigs informed me in conversation that large reserve supplies should be held there. Therefore, no supply for Army of the Potomac should be expected from here, unless sent additional to my estimates. I have but one York and Pamunkey River pilot now here. The rest are up the James. They and the water transportation are
*See Butler to Wilson, Part II, p. 518.