HDQRS. DEPT. OF VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA,
In the Field, July 9, 1864.
Commanding Eighteenth Army Corps:
General Weitzel showed me your telegram in relation to forwarding your suggestions in regard to negro troops. My reasons for not forwarding them sooner are that I had a conversation upon the subject with the lieutenant-general, in which your recommendations were substantially to be carried out, as a portion of them have already been. The colored battery has been withdrawn from the front and sent for drill to Portsmouth, in order that the experiment of using negroes for artillery may be tested fully. A very competent brigadier-general for those troops under your command has been appointed, and they will be at once reorganized, and I doubt not the lieutenant-general will attach to our command the negro troops now in General Burnside's corps. The delay has also been rendered necessary by the expected arrival of other negro troops in this department. I beg leave to assure you that it was from no disrespect to your suggestions, as they are valuable, but from a belief that the interests of the service required a little delay, that they have not been forwarded. After receiving this, if you prefer, you are at liberty to forward them directly, with a copy of this note.
BENJ. F. BUTLER,
HEADQUARTERS EIGHTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
July 9, 1864.
I propose to avail myself to-night of ten days' leave of absence granted me by lieutenant-general commanding Armies of the United States. I have turned over this command to Brigadier General J. H. Martindale.
WM. F. SMITH,
CITY POINT, VA., July 9, 1864.
(Received 6 p.m.)
Please inform me by telegraph of the arrival of the first transport with the advance of the Nineteenth Army Corps from New Orleans.
U. S. GRANT,
WASHINGTON, July 9, 1864-11.30 p.m.
Troops arriving from New Orleans will be sent immediately forward to Washington.
H. W. HALLECK,
Major-General and Chief of Staff.