the enemy as far as you can do with safety, moving up toward the Kingsland road at the junction of Three-Mile Creek, toward Ruffin's house. Reply by telegraph how soon you can be ready. Perhaps you can use your own artillery. You will ascertain, of course, as near as you can where the left of Hancock's line rests, so as not to advance too far, leaving your right flank exposed. Your left will be protected by the creek. The troops at Dutch Gap will be out three miles away from your left before they advance. As they advance you will be approaching. See to it that there is no collision on your left.
BENJ. F. BUTLER,
DEEP BOTTOM, August 16, 1864-12.45 p.m.
I can be ready at 2 p.m. with but a small force. Taking everything from my fortifications I have less than 700 men, except those on the picket-line. Shall I use my light battery? I am entirely unacquainted with the country and the creeks.
WM. B. WOOSTER,
Colonel Twenty-ninth Connecticut.
DEEP BOTTOM, August 16, 1864-1.05 p.m.
My whole force is not sufficient to form a skirmish line on my present front as I picket. I could have nothing to form a line of battle with. Shall I make the attempt to press beyond my present picket-line with this insufficient force?
WM. B. WOOSTER,
I telegraphed you [General Butler] at 2.30 the substance of within.
GEO. A KENSEL.
Have telegraphed Colonel Woods to obey your orders and that I have sent these dispatches to you.
DEEP BOTTOM, August 16, 1864-10 p.m.
As your guns opened this afternoon I advanced my lines, swinging around my right until my entire line passed the Kingsland road. My right rested upon a ravine, the extension of Four-Mile Run. I continued to press my right into the woods until it became so dark I could no longer continue my skirmish line. My advance developed only a strong picket-line. On the right of the Ruffin house the enemy was in small rifle-pits, and staid until I took them by a charge. I could neither hear nor see anything of Hancock's lines. The length of my lines by this advance became so great that in order to concentrate my