The Eighteenth Corps (Smith's) was transported from White House to Bermuda Hundred by water, moved out near to Petersburg the night of its arrival, and surprised or rather captured the very strong works northeast of Petersburg before sufficient force could be got in there by the enemy to hold them. He was joined the night following this capture by the Second Corps, which in turn captured more of the enemy's redoubts farther south, and this corps was followed by the Ninth, with the result above stated. All the troops are now up except two divisions covering the wagon trains, and they will be up to-night. The enemy in their endeavor to re-enforce Petersburg abandoned their intrenchments in front of Bermuda Hundred. They no doubt expected troops from north of the James River to make their place before we discovered it. General Butler took advantage of this and moved a force at once upon the railroad and plank road between Richmond and Petersburg, which I hope to retain possession of. Too much credit cannot be given the troops and their commanders for the energy and fortitude displayed during the last five days. Day and night have been all the same, no delays being allowed on any account.
U. S. GRANT,
WASHINGTON, June 17, 1864-3 p.m.
Bermuda Hundred, Va.:
A German engineer officer who left Lee's army June 7 says that Pickett's division, about 6,000 infantry, and Breckinridge's division, about 7,000 infantry, passed through Gordonsville (in cars) on the 6th and 7th, against, Hunter. He did not see their cavalry or artillery. He estimates the entire force left under Lee and Beauregard from 60,000 to 75,000 exclusive of home guards and militia in Richmond. He says that all damage to railroads has been repaired, and cars run from Richmond to Charlottesville and Staunton. Lee's army is well supplied with provisions, but ammunition is of inferior quality and much complained of. Many if this man's statements are verified by others.
H. W. HALLECK,
Major-General and Chief of Staff.
CITY POINT, VA., June 17, 1864.
(Received 9 a.m. 18th.)
General Butler learns that Lee has sent Doles' and Kershaw's brigades and Gordon's division to Lynchburg. They started Monday and Tuesday. It will probably be too late to get word to General Hunter, but he will likely get word through his large cavalry force. Such a force as he has should never be surprised or find difficulty in making their way to a place of safety if attacked by a superior force. The only apprehension I have for Hunter is that he may get out of ammunition.
U. S. GRANT,