HDQRS. DEPT. OF VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA,
In the Field, August 16, 1864.
I inclose to you a telegram from Lieutenant-General Grant.* The troops of Hancock and Birney are near White's Tavern, on the Charles City road, extending across the Central and New Market road. That, you will see, brings the enemy at Dutch Gap in your front directly between our troops and you. I wish you would get all the men you can spare under arms and advance upon them and try them, of course deploying your force a little to the right from the gap, in order to avoid the battery at Cox's house, if it still remains there. I trust by this time you have got your gun mounted and unmasked, so that you can bear upon that battery. At the time you advance, which should be done with a good deal of celerity and determination with a strong line of skirmishers to surprise the enemy, let your 100-pounder open upon that battery as well as you can. At the opening of your artillery I will direct Colonel Wooster to advance a strong skirmish-line at Deep Bottom up toward the junction of Three-Mile Creek with the Kingsland road. I will endeavor to be over at the gap by the time your dispositions are made, but do not wait for me. It is of importance that you should endeavor to silence the artillery. Please try to observe where the enemy's gun-boats are, that you may not be interfered with in attempting to cross the plain between your works and the enemy. Form your line of battle in the gap out of sight of the enemy as much as possible and deploy with rapidly. How are you supplied with ammunition?
BENJ. F. BUTLER,
HEADQUARTERS, August 16, 1864.
Chief Quartermaster, Bermuda:
You will select two of the most worthless canal barges we have, if two have not already been selected, for the purpose of being sunk in the James, of course taking of all tackle and everything which is useless when sunk, and report them as early as possible to the naval vessel, the Miami, off City Point. Report to me when this order is executed.
BENJ. F. BUTLER,
BERMUDA, August 16, 1864.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that the barges Mary Moyer and Agnes Gibson have been procured at City Point, where some delay was experienced.
JOHN B. HOWARD,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Chief Quartermaster.
* See p. 231.