three to four days to make trip. We have 4,500 wounded in hospital here, and more will of course be brought in, and I consider it of the utmost importance that they be removed from this place immediately. I have plenty of hay and straw on hand, and can make such steamers as the John Brooks, George Weems, Massachusetts, &c., very comfortable, especially for transporting those not severely wounded. I shall communicate with General Ingalls by the earliest opportunity.
P. P. PITKIN,
COLD HARBOR, VA., June 6, 1864.
Commanding Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina:
An expedition under General Hunter is now its way up the Shenandoah Valley, and a large cavalry force will leave here to-morrow under General Sheridan to join him, for the purpose of utterly destroying the enemy's lines of communication on the north side of James River. When this is done it is my intention to transfer all the force now with me to the south side. To do this I may be compelled to go to the mouth of the Chickahominy. I now send Colonel Comstock, of my staff, to you to see what preparations are necessary to secure the rapid crossing of the river, and to learn if your position will be secure during the time the enemy would necessarily be able to spare a large force to operate with against you before re-enforcements could reach you. Colonel Comstock will explain to you fully the situation here.
U. S. GRANT,
FORT MONROE, June 6, 1864.
Captain Slosson with his pontoons reached here yesterday, and I sent them up to you, enough for 460 feet of bridging, according to General Halleck's order. I should be very happy to go up and see you, but that I am holding here under the order of General Meade to be ready to move at such short notice that I have not ventured to leave even to visit Norfolk.
H. W. BENHAM,
BERMUDA, June 6, 1864.
The pontoon train of twenty-three boats and material for bridging has just arrived at this place from Fortress Monroe, sent by order of General Benham. What shall I do with it and my men?
H. W. SLOSSON,
Captain, Fifteenth New York Volunteer Engineers.