been approved. Yet fearing that these telegrams may have miscarried or been delayed, I herewith report again in writing, as I am still waiting orders, according to your orders in duplicate of 27th and 28th ultimo. The first received at about 11 p. m. of the 27th, was at once acted upon and my men set to work during the night to at once acted upon and my men set to work during the night to make up the bridge rafts and barges and steamers called for from the quartermaster's department, as, according to my first reply of 6 a. m. of 28th (copy of which I inclose).* I judged that I ought to take the special material ordered in April. As soon as barges were received, the loading of this material commenced, and by continuing the work through the whole of the night of the 28th, we were ready before noon of the next day, at which time with the limited steamers obtained from the quartermaster's department we started for this place. The men with the barges of special material arrived here about noon and near midnight of the 30th, and the pontoon rafts, which had to lay over each night, about 1 to 2 a. m. June 1.
I reported immediately on arriving, as per copy of telegram dated 30th ultimo at 11 p. m.+ On the 31st at near sunset a telegram to commanding officer here was received from General Halleck, of which copy+ and indorsement of General Butler's assistant adjutant-general are inclosed, also copy of my telegram+ to you, sent up York River, in relation to this. As I have not been certain that this telegram of General Halleck's was known to you, I have been greatly embarrassed to desire whether you would have wished all my men and the special material to go also without your direct order. I have complied literally with General Halleck's order, and sent the bridges and men to lay them up to General Butler, and have been on the point of taking everything else up for fear that might be what was desired, and I have even telegraphed General Butler, as per copy inclosed,+ to ask for information on the subject, [sic] though sent at 9 a. m. yesterday. My best judgment from the reports here of operations lead me to the conviction that you may be as like to need these men and material up the York as up the James River, and that it is my duty to await your orders here with my transportation, unless an imperative call should reach me from General Butler.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. BETHAM,
FLAG-SHIP AGAWAM, Farrar's Island, June 2, 1864. (Received 11 a. m. 5th.)
Honorable GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy:
No change in the naval situation, except that I have received here from General Butler the vessels he had provided at City Point as part of his plan campaign for obstructing James River.
S. P. LEE,
*See Benham to Williams, May 28, p. 274.
+Ante, pp. 366, 416, 472.
33 R R-VOL XXXVI, PT III