cle in question, and be allowed an opportunity of denying them; and he also desires to have your report, so that he may be prepared to promptly answer any official call that may be made upon him for information touching the allegations should the matter hereafter be brought to his notice. I am also directed to transmit to you in this connection a copy of General Orders, No. 24,* of the 27th ultimo, from these headquarters, republishing orders heretofore issued relative to seizures of property; and in view of the orders in force in this army upon the subject, the commanding general is reluctant to conclude that they have been violated in your command by the seizure of property not recognized as legitimately liable to capture of by the appropriation of the property seized to private purposes. The commanding general wishes you to have at once a thorough inspection made of your command, with a view of ascertaining whether any of the officers of men have in their possession any plate, watches, &c., taken under the circumstances mentioned in the editorial.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA,
In the Field, July 4, 1864 - 10.40 p. m.
General Smith telegraphed me this afternoon that six regiments of infantry, twenty-two army wagons, and twenty-six ambulances passed over the turnpike toward Richmond, and also a train of cars loaded with troops and a battery. A deserter from Foster's front, at Deep Bottom, reports that Cooke's and Kirkland's brigades, of Heth's division, of Hill's corps, have left there, and that there is now in front of Foster, Davis' brigade, of Heth's division, and Lane's and Conner's brigades, of Wilcox's division, of Hill's corps, with one regiment from Gracie's brigade. These troops have gone there within two days. Another deserter just in reports that Picketts' division is being withdrawn from our front, their place to be supplied by battalions of reserve militia, who are to hold our lines, while Pickett's division is to cross the Appomattox. He also reports General Early present in person, but does not know of his division. He states that his officers say that there is to be a flank movement. This may possibly be a movement against Meade's left. The troops that Smith reports going up may be the reserves to take the place of Pickett's veteran troops that are to cross the Appomattox. I have thought the man's story of sufficient consequence to send him to you for examination, in addition to this synopsis of his information. He reports also the felling of trees by the enemy in our front, which would show that they do not mean a movement upon us. By careful questioning you may be able to make something more out of him. It is quite possible that an attack, which will probably be a feint, will be made on Foster, while a real attack will be made on Meade's left, and this may be the flank movement spoken of.
BENJ. F. BUTLER,
(Copy transmitted to General Meade at 1.45 a. m. July 5.)
* See p. 465.