War of the Rebellion: Serial 081 Page 0449 Chapter LII. CORRESPONDENCE,ETC.-UNION.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, June 26, 1864-12.30 a.m.

Major General P. H. SHERIDAN,

Commanding Cavalry Corps:

GENERAL: The commanding general directs that when your command has crossed the James River, you proceed to take up a position on the Petersburg and Jerusalem plank road on the left flank of the army, sending a staff officer to these headquarters in advance of your reaching the plank road, to receive special instructions for your guidance.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

The officer who takes this dispatch to you will acquaint you with the position now occupied by this army.

CITY POINT, June 26, 1864-1.30 p.m.

General WILLIAMS:

Your dispatch of this date, directing me to take position on left flank of army, after crossing the James River, received.

P. H. SHERIDAN.

HEADQUARTERS, June 26, 1864-7.45 a.m.

Lieutenant-General GRANT:

General Smith had informed me that he intended to attack that advanced position last night. I heard sharp firing and supposed he might have done so. Upon the receipt of your telegram I inquired as to the result of his attack, and received the following telegram, which I give verbatim, although I suppose it must contain a blunder of the operator:

General BUTLER:

I thought it best to defer the attack indefinitely. On a second reconnaissance of the enemy's position, and in view of the small forces at General Turner's disposal last night [June 24], and reconnaissances to-day have developed the enemy's lines so strong that the loss of [life] could not be worth the hill.

WILLIAM F. SMITH.

In view of this opinion of General Smith, do you think it advisable to make the attempt? If so, I will go over in the course of the day and arrange the attack for to-night as suggested.

BENJ. F. BUTLER,

Major-General, Commanding.

CITY POINT, June 26, 1864-8.15 a.m. [Received 8.40 a.m.]

Major-General BUTLER:

It was on General Smith's report that I ordered the advance I did last night. I would not now insist on it against his judgment without knowing more about the ground and the feasibility of carrying it than I do.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

29 R R-VOL XL, PT II