War of the Rebellion: Serial 082 Page 0438 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LII.

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stroying the railroad is accomplished the whole expedition will return and resume their present places. It is barely possible that by a bold move this expedition may surprise the little garrison of citizen soldiery now in Richmond and get in. This cannot be done, however, by any cautious movement, developing our force, and making reconnaissances before attacking. The only way it can be done, if done at all, is to ride up to the city boldly, dismount, and go in at the first point reached. If carried in this way, the prize could be secured by hurrying up the Second Corps and sending back word here, so that other dispositions could be made. This expedition has for its object, as first stated, to destroy the railroad north of Richmond. If anything more favorable grows out of it it will be due to the officers and men composing it, and will be duly appreciated. In the absence of the Second Corps and cavalry great watchfulness will be required on the part of the other troops and readiness to take advantage of any movement of the enemy. In preparing for this move let it be understood that it is for a grand raid toward Weldon. I do not mean to imply the necessity of saying anything untrue, but simply to make the necessary preparations for starting without giving out the idea of what is to be done and leave our troops to guess that it is to go south, as they will without contradiction. I should like this expedition to get off to-morrow night if possible; if not then, the night following.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,




City Point, Va., July 25, 1864.

Major General GEORGE G. MEADE:

You may direct the loading of the mine in front of the Ninth Corps I would se no time when it should be exploded, but leave it subject to orders. The expedition ordered may cause such a weakening of the enemy at Petersburg as to make an attack there possible, in which case you would want to spring Burnside's mine. It cannot be kept a great while after the powder is put in. I would say, therefore, if it is not found necessary to blow it up earlier, I would have it off during the afternoon of Wednesday.



CITY POINT, July 25, 1864-11 p.m.

Brigadier General M. C MEIGS, Quartermaster-General:

In former dispatches to you and General Rucker I stead that some of the transports in the Potomac could make a trip here with animals and forage, and return in time to bring down the Sixth and Nineteenth Corps. There are very few now here. Events may make it necessary to have them here. General Grant directs me to state that he will further orders, and that most of the transports had better be sent here at once for use, if found necessary, in consequence of movements of the enemy toward your place.


Brigadier-General and Quartermaster.