War of the Rebellion: Serial 081 Page 0677 Chapter LII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - CONFEDERATE.

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I received at 1.20 p. m. the following:

RICHMOND, June 15, 1864-12 m.

General BEAUREGARD:

Hoke's division was ordered to you early this morning, in time to be near at hand now, though his telegram of 11.30 says he had just received his orders and was marching. You are better able to judge than I can be of the movements necessary to be made by the troops immediately with you.

BRAXTON BRAGG,

General.

At 1.45 p. m. I telegraphed you as follows:

SWIFT CREEK, June 15, 1864-1.45 p. m.

General BRAXTON BRAGG,

Richmond, Va.:

You telegram of 12 m. received. I did not ask advice with regard to the movement of troops, but wished to know preference of War Department between Petersburg and lines across Bermuda Hundred Neck, for my guidance, as I fear my present force may prove unequal to hold both.

G. T. BEAUREGARD,

General.

To this I received no reply.

The alternative of abandoning our lines in front of Bermuda Hundred or Petersburg was then presented. My force was inadequate to maintain our extended lines, reaching from Drewry's Bluff to this place. The enemy having been strongly re-enforced continued to press heavily toward Petersburg, and at 9.10 p. m. I sent you and General R. E. Lee the following telegraphic dispatch:

PETERSBURG, VA., June 15, 1864-9.11 p. m.

General BRAXTON BRAGG,

Richmond, Va.:

Re-enforcements not having arrived in time, enemy penetrated lines from Battery 5 to 8, inclusive. Will endeavor to retake them by daybreak. I shall order Johnson to this point with all his forces. General Lee must look to the defenses of Drewry's Bluff and the lines across Bermuda Neck, if practicable.

G. T. BEAUREGARD,

General.

Telegraph operator will send a copy of this dispatch to General R. E. Lee.

Accordingly, at 10.20 p. m., I ordered Major-General Johnson to evacuate the lines in front of Bermuda Hundred, leaving pickets and skirmishers to cover the movement until daylight, or later if necessary. I hereto append a copy of the orders to Major-General Johnston.* At 11.15 p. m. I addressed the following telegraphic dispatch to General R. E. Lee:

PETERSBURG, VA., June 15, 1864-11.15 p. m.

General R. E. Lee,

Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia:

I have abandoned my lines on Bermuda Neck to concentrate all my forces here; skirmishers and pickets will leave there at daylight. Cannot these lines be occupied by your troops? The safety of our communication requires it. Five thousand or 6,000 men may do.

G. T. BEAUREGARD,

General.

In obedience to orders Major-General Johnson, after entirely securing the guns other military stores, evacuated the lines of Bermuda during the night, giving orders to the officer commanding the pickets

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*See orders June 15, p. 657.

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