War of the Rebellion: Serial 069 Page 0286 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter XLVIII.

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In the Field, Va., May 28, 1864.

Major General B. F. BUTLER,

Commanding Department of Virginia and North Carolina:

GENERAL: I would respectfully request that the chief of departments on your staff send all instructions, affecting the supplies for my command through these headquarters, as such instructions often conflict with those given by me.

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,



MAY 28, 1864-2.30 p. m.

General SMITH:

As Petersburg is now uncovered you will take your movable column, prepared for that purpose, and cross the river by the pontoon bridge and attack Petersburg. General Hinks will aid you with his brigade of troops according to the plan verbally agreed upon last night.


Major-General, Commanding.

MAY 28, 1864.

Major-General BUTLER,

Commanding Department of Virginia, &c.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to request that the orders for the movement of to-morrow, for my command, may be furnished to me to-night in writing.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding.


In the Field, May 28, 1864.

Major-General SMITH,

Commanding Eighteenth Corps:

The transportation for your column having arrived, although in my judgment not sufficient, yet, in consequence of imperative orders from General Grant, your column will move to his assistance. You will use the utmost expedition in embarking and getting on. If you desire any cavalry to accompany you, please designate what regiment or battalion. I grieve much that this weakness of the Army of the Potomac has called the troops away, just as we were taking the offensive, and that the attack on Petersburg, which was agreed on to take place to-morrow morning, must be abandoned, but it is so ordered, and, however, against our wishes and judgment, we must obey. I propose to give you every facility in going off. You will have to use great caution in going up the Pamunkey and in getting into Whit House. The torpedoes in the water, or a well arranged surprise on land, would bring your expedition to grief. As you will not have the advantage in going away which we had in