War of the Rebellion: Serial 088 Page 0136 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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CITY POINT, VA., August 12, 1864.

Major-General BUTLER, Commanding, &c.:

It having become evident that the enemy has sent north two if not three divisions of infantry, twenty-three pieces of artillery, and one division of cavalry, beside the dismounted cavalry, and a few regiments to Charleston, I am determined to see if we cannot force him to return here or give us an advantage. To do his I have given the same instructions as for the last move from Deep Bottom. There is this difference, however, in the preparation: The Second Corps, the only one out of line and foot loose, will march here this afternoon to embark in steamers. They will be under the impression, except the commander, that Washington is their destination. To facilitate embarkation (ostensibly) the artillery and transportation go to Bermuda Hundred to-night. After dark to-morrow night the pontoon bridge will be laid at the same place as on the former occasion. As soon as laid, or soon after 12 o'clock at night, the cavalry and artillery will commence crossing. The infantry, which will all be embarked here during the day on steamers, will start so as to reach Deep Bottom about 2 a. m. the 14th. I hope to have prompt movements and favorable results. What force can you spare from Bermuda Hundred to be used north of the James with this expedition? Whatever force you can spare, reducing the force to hold your line to a minimum, I wish you to have ready to follow the artillery and cavalry soon after daylight on the 14th.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

HDQRS. DEPT. OF VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA,

August 12, 1864 - 5.30 o'clock.

General GRANT:

Your note of instructions is received. Owing to the recent arrival of the South Carolina troops, I am unable to say just how many we can spare for the purpose, but I think 10,000 men for a week's operations, and perhaps more, if the Eighteenth holds its ground for the present. I will write you in detail and at length as soon as I can ascertain precisely.

BENJ. F. BUTLER,

Major-General, Commanding.

CITY POINT, VA., August 12, 1864.

Major-General BUTLER, Commanding, &c.:

Our intrenchments are now so strong that with a very thin line they can be held. We have the further security that the enemy has shown that he feels no inclination to attack fortifications. Under this view I have been thinking that with the colored troops alone, or at furthest with the colored troops and the white troops of the Tenth Corps, the Eighteenth Corps might be got foot loose to rest and fit up for other service, which I will make known to you. I think one infantry man to six feet the greatest abundance at Bermuda, and one to four feet sufficient for the line north of the Appomattox. As soon after the matter about which I advised you confidentially an hour ago is settled, I wish you would take this matter in hand.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.