from following the enemy to Gordonsville and Charlottesville, if he can do it with his own force and such other improvised troops as he can get; but he should be cautions not to allow himself squeezed out to one side, so as to make it necessary to fall back into Western Virginia to save his army. If he does have to fall back it should be in front of the enemy, and with his force always between the latter and the main crossings of the Potomac. I do not think there is now any further danger of an attempt to invade Maryland. The position of the enemy in the West and here is such as to demand all the force they can get together to save vital points to them. The last attempt brought to the field so many troops that they cannot conceive the possibility of succeeding in capturing any important point, with a force of 30,000 or even 50,000 men, whilst the main Union army is within thirty hours of the capital. As soon as the rebel army is known to have passed Hunter's forces, recall Wright and send him back here with all dispatch, and also send the Nineteenth Corps. If the enemy have any notion of returning, the fact will be developed before Wright can start back.
U. S. GRANT,
CITY POINT, VA., July 16, 1864. (Received 9.40 a.m.)
Six or seven days ago I asked to have General Ord assigned to command of Tenth Army Corps, but before my dispatch was received in Washington they had assigned him to the command of Eighth Corps and all troops in the Middle Department. I now receive a dispatch saying that he is ordered here, and probably it is to command the Tenth Corps. If so, General Humphreys will not be changed from his present place at present.
U. S. GRANT,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, July 16, 1864-10 p.m.
I forward you a report, just received from the chief of artillery, giving the time it will take to remove the siege guns and materials in case a sudden withdrawal of the army should become necessary after the siege operations have been entered upon. In compliance with your wishes, preparations have been continued for commencing the siege. Batteries are being erected for placing guns and mortars in position to silence the enemy's fire at the salient on the Jerusalem plank road. The chief engineer estimates that it will take eight days to finish these works and have them ready for their armament. The chief of artillery will require three days to unload the vessels now containing the siege guns, mortars, and materials. In case of withdrawal, besides the three days indicated in his report for withdrawing these guns, if reloaded at the landing where the vessels now are, Broadway Landing, it would require three additional days, but if they are carried to City Point and there reshipped, this last estimate would not enter into the calculation. I have deemed it proper to lay these facts before you, as they may be material to you in your future plans, and to say that I have directed