GENERAL BUTLER'S HEADQUARTERS, June 15, 1864-2 a.m.
Commanding Army Gun-Boats:
Send the Jesup to Fort Powhatan to cover the crossing of the army at that bridge.
By command of Major-General Butler:
Captain and Commissary of Musters.
Washington City, June 15, 1864-1 p.m.
Lieutenant Colonel H. BIGS:
If you have not already done so, send to Fort Powhatan immediately every vessel which can be useful in ferrying troops and trains.
M. C. MEIGS,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA,
New Berne, N. C., June 15, 1864.
Major General B. F. BUTLER,
Commanding Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, Fort Monroe, Va.:
GENERAL: Your letter of the 5th with the inclosures I received. At the time I received them Colonel Jourdan was with the blockading fleet off Wilmington, where he had gone to again consult with Captain Sands. The surf-boats (only three) arrived from Fort Monroe, and with launches, small boats, &c., we could get together here, we could have landed about 400 men at a time. So much had been consumed, however, and there had been so much unguarded conversation about the matter, that I was not surprised to hear that our intentions were suspected below, and when Colonel Jourdan attempted, as before, to land in a small boat or to send one to the shore the whole country appeared to be alarmed, and heavy firing with musketry and from the heavy guns at Fort Fisher commenced immediately. In addition to this, heavy gales have been blowing constantly for more than a week, and no small boats could live or hope to make a landing. All this has convinced me that for the present at least this particular expedition must be abandoned and we must improve our time in some other way. I am just leaving for Morehead to arrange another expedition, which has for its object the cutting of the railroad in the vicinity of Wilmington, and hope even to destroy the long bridge over Northeast Cape Fear River. Several columns (all small of course) will move at the same time, and I think that as only one or two officers know anything of this affair it will accomplish something. I write very hurriedly, which must account for the appearance of this. I will write more fully in a day or two. Small parties of rebels, principally horse stealers, have appeared in the lower counties, and our cavalry here are after them.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
I. N. PALMER,