War of the Rebellion: Serial 069 Page 0871 Chapter XLVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - CONFEDERATE.

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HDQRS. ARMIES OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES,

Richmond, June 3, 1864 - 9 p. m.

General G. T. BEAUREGARD,

Chester Station:

Ransom's brigade is required for temporary service north of James River. Please send it immediately across at Drewry's Bluff, with orders to proceed without delay to Bottom's Bridge and report to the senior officer there.

BRAXTON BRAGG.

HANCOCK'S HOUSE, June 3, 1864 - 9.45 p. m.

General BRAXTON BRAGG:

Dispatch of 9 p. m. ordering Ransom's brigade to Bottom's Bridge has just been received. It will leave immediately after being relieved from the lines.

G. T. BEAUREGARD.

HANCOCK'S HOUSE, June 3, 1864 - 11.45 p. m.

General BRAXTON BRAGG:

General Johnson reports that as Ransom's brigade was about to be retired heavy skirmishing commenced in front of that brigade extending into the lines of two others, and thinks it too risky to retire it at this time. I have deferred its movement in consequence.

G. T. BEAUREGARD.

HEADQUARTERS,

In the Field, near Chester, Va., June 3, 1864.

General BRAXTON BRAGG,

Commanding, & c., Richmond, Va.:

GENERAL: That there may not be hereafter any possible misapprehension of the part I am called upon to act in the momentous events which are transpiring and which I cannot but watch with the most intense interest and solicitude, I send you herewith copies of the telegrams* which have been exchanged between General Lee and myself since the 1st instant at 4 p. m. You will not doubt of my readiness and anxiety to co-operate with General Lee in any manner that may be deemed most conductive toward the crushing of the foe in his front. I shall be found ready and willing at all times to obey any orders the War Department may judge fit and proper to give on the subject, but I cannot, under existing circumstances, advise the withdrawal of more troops from this vicinity.

Already 13,000 out of 20,000 infantry have been sent to the north side of the James River since the battle of Drewry's Bluff, and with the forces remaining, unless taken temporarily for an immediate encounter with the enemy, it might become impossible to prevent the latter from destroying the communications between Richmond and Petersburg, nay, from capturing Petersburg, which could not be retaken without great sacrifice of life. If Ransom's brigade, numbering over one-third of the present available force in Johnson's divis-

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* Not found as inclosures to this communication; but see pp. 865, 868.

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