War of the Rebellion: Serial 082 Page 0223 Chapter LII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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CITY POINT, VA., July 14, 1864.

Major-General HALLECK, Washington, D. C.:

It would seem from dispatches* just received from Mr. Dana, Assistant Secretary of War, that the enemy are leaving Maryland. If so, Hunter should follow him as rapidly as the jaded condition of his men will admit. The Sixth and Nineteenth Corps should be got here without any delay, so that they may be used before the return of the troops sent into the Valley by the enemy. Hunter, moving up the Valley, will either hold a large force of the enemy or he will be enabled to reach Gordonsville and Charlottesville. The utter destruction of the road at and between these two places will be of immense value to us. I do not intend this as an order to bring Wright back while he is in pursuit of the enemy with any prospect of punishing him, but to secure his return at the earliest possible moment after he ceases to be absolutely necessary where he is. Colonel Comstock, who takes this, can explain to you fully the situation here. The enemy have the Weldon road completed, but are very cautious about bringing cars through on it. I shall endeavor to have it badly destroyed and for a long distance, within a few days. I understand from a refugee that the have twenty-five miles of track yet to lay to complete the Danville road. If the enemy has left Maryland, as I suppose he has, he should have upon his heels veterans, militiamen, men on horseback, and everything that can be got to follow to eat out Virginia clear and clean as far as they go, so that crows flying over it for the balance of this season will have to carry their provender with them.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

CITY POINT, VA., July 14, 1864-2 p.m.

(Received 6.50 a.m. 15th.)

Major-General HALLECK, Washington, D. C.:

For the last few days I have made every effort to ascertain whether the enemy have further detached to send north. He shows everywhere as strong a front as he has done from the start, and deserters constantly coming in locate every division of Longstreet's and Hill's corps and Beauregard's force. If any detachments have been made it has been brigades and not divisions and I have no evidence of even this having been done. I received a communication from Lee, dated the 10th, showing his presence at that time, but I received one dated the 13th, from Beauregard in answer to one directed to Lee. This I do not understand. It seems to me that by promptly pushing the enemy he can be driven from Maryland with great loss. Now, however, it will be necessary to hold force enough in the city to hold the enemy at bay, if he should attack, until re-enforcements can be got. I have sent Ord four batteries from here, and will direct him to push out, and at least, develop the enemy in his front and drive him if he can. Not being able to communicate with all the commanders, it will be hard to get anything like unity of action, but if they will push boldly from all quarters the enemy will certainly be destroyed. If I find further detachments have been sent from here I will make a determined push to obtain a firm foothold that will ultimately secure Richmond and be easily held, and detach all I can.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

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*See Vol. XXXVII, Part II, pp. 259, 260.

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