War of the Rebellion: Serial 088 Page 0210 OPERATIONS IN SE.VA. AND N.C. Chapter LIV.

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HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA,

New Berne, N. C., August 15, 1864.

Major General B. F. BUTLER,

Commanding Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina, Fort Monroe, Va.:

GENERAL: It is my impression that we can worry the blockade-runners a good deal by placing torpedoes in that channel that runs down the shore into Wilmington harbor. Lieutenant King, the engineer officer, has said he would bring the matter before you, and if he returns to this place, if you see no objection to it, I will have the torpedoes prepared. I would prefer to place them in position with the force we have, not calling upon the navy for any assistance. It is possible I do not judge correctly, but I have sometimes doubted whether these gentlemen who command the blockading vessels really wish that harbor closed. A great deal of money is made there in prize money.

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

I. N. PALMER,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

CITY POINT, VA., August 16, 1864. (Received 8 p.m. 18th.)

Major-General HALLECK,

Washington, D. C.:

The fighting north of the river to-day has resulted favorably for us, so far as it has gone; but there have been no decisive results. The enemy have been driven back somewhat from their position of this morning, with a considerable loss in killed and wounded and about 400 prisoners left in our hands. Two brigadier-generals (Chambliss and Girardey) were killed and their bodies left in our hands. We also have quite a number of wounded prisoners. I have relieved the Fifth Corps from the trenches, and have it ready to march around Petersburg if the enemy can be induced to throw troops enough north of the James to justify it. Since moving north of the river our losses will probably reach near 1,000 in killed and wounded; very many, however, only slightly wounded, owing to so much of the fighting taking place in thick woods. The enemy have lost about as many that have fallen into our hands.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, August 16, 1864-11 a.m.

Lieutenant-General GRANT:

No reports have been received from corps commanders or signal officers indicating any movement or change in the enemy's position in my front, except a part of the Ninth Corps, where it is reported the enemy have relieved the force in their trenches, but not diminished it. The appearance of Wright's brigade, Mahone's division, in front of Hancock, confirms the previous statement of deserters that on Saturday last two brigades of Mahone's division were withdrawn and placed in reserve in the rear.

GEO. G. MEADE,

Major-General.