CONFIDENTIAL.] FLAG-SHIFT N. ATLANTIC BLOCK. SQUADRON,
James River, June 7, 1864.,
Major General B. F. BUTLER,
Commanding Department of Virginia and North Carolina:
GENERAL: I desire to keep the schooners ready for sinking when I am advised that a controlling military necessity requires that it be done. Judging from the tenor of a dispatch received from the Navy Department last evening, no such precautionary measure seems to be contemplated.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, yours,
S. P. LEE,
Actg. Rear-Admiral, Commanding N. Atlantic Block. Squadron.
Trent's Reach, James River, June 7, 1864-10 p.m.
(Via Fort Monroe, Va., 5.30 p.m. 8th. Received 6 a.m. 9th.)
Honorable G. WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy:
No change in the naval situation. This day's Richmond Examiner says General Grant will cross James River and operate against Richmond on the south side.
S. P. LEE,
IN THE FIELD, June 7, 1864-2.45 p.m.
Your note relating to the sinking of the obstructions is received by hand of Captain Clarke. The necessity of holding our positions here is an overwhelming military one. But how you are to hold yours on the river is, of course, wholly for you to determine.
BENJ. F. BUTLER,
SPRING HILL SIGNAL STATION, June 7, 1864-11.40 a.m.
Three very long trains passed toward Petersburg this a.m. They were composed almost entirely of freight cars, and from the south and appearance I judge they were empty.
Sergeant, Signal Corps.
SPRING HILL SIGNAL STATION, June 7, 1864-1.15 p.m.
Two trains have just passed toward Richmond. One was partially loaded with troops and the other entirely with freight. One empty train just passed toward Petersburg.
Sergeant, Signal Corps, U. S. Army.