War of the Rebellion: Serial 069 Page 0718 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N.C. Chapter XLVIII.

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FORT MONROE, June 9, 1864.

General BUTLER:

Yours of 5 a.m. just received, and as the boat was leaving I went down at once, to direct one of my staff officers to explain verbally and fully my situation here, as he may reach you before this does. The orders of General Meade are so distinct for me to remain here with my special material until his further orders, or those of General Grant, should the presence of myself, men, and material be necessary with you, would not this be safely accomplished for my by an order of Colonel Comstock, now with you, given in the name of General Grant?

H. W. BENHAM.

FORT MONROE, June 9, 1864.

General BUTLER:

A rumor has just reached me, which may however not be true, that you have many vessels up there loaded with stone, ready to sink in the channel, I suppose, to prevent the coming down of the rebel vessels; for if true and this is not already arranged, allow me to suggest that these vessels should, if possible, all be connected together by two or three heavy chain cables between each to complete the obstruction, such cables I presume being easily obtained at the Norfolk navy-yard.

H. W. BENHAM,

SIGNAL TOWER,

Cobb's Hill, June 9, 1864-4.30 p.m.

Captain NORTON:

The following is the result of my observations for the last half hour:

Saw a squadron of cavalry in outskirts of Petersburg on the left; saw eight heavy siege guns cross the turnpike at the railroad station going toward Richmond; also two trains of cars going same way; one of twelve and the other of thirteen cars. The former contained about five companies of troops; all the remainder freight. Petersburg certainly appears evacuated.

D. L. CRAFT.

Second Lieutenant and Signal Officer.

HEADQUARTERS,

Broadway, June 9, 1864-3.40 a.m.

Major-General BUTLER:

My command has just crossed the river; some of it has been delayed by losing the road. I have no doubt that the enemy are fully apprised of our movement by the noise of the bridge. It is not muffled at all, and the crossing of the cavalry can be heard for miles.

Yours,

Q. A. GILLMORE,

Major-General.