by the Vaughan road, and if he finds the enemy holding their intrenchments weakly endeavor to carry them. The major-general commanding directs that you draw in your pickets, excepting those west of the plank road, and concentrate your division at a suitable point near the plank road, or between it and the Norfolk road, and prevent the enemy's cavalry coming in on the rear of General Warren from the direction of Reams' Station. A force of 100 or 200 men may be left near Cocke's Mill or Sycamore Church.
A. A. HUMPHREYS,
Major-General and Chief of Staff.
BATCHELDER'S CREEK, August 16, 1864.
It is impossible to have the necessary scouting done on this front so long as the Red House posts have to furnished from this camp. The enemy's scouts of late have been very bold, and unless they are kept at bay they will constantly annoy the picket-line. Two large infantry companies will picket the Red House front.
G. H. HITCHCOCK,
(Duplicate to General Palmer.)
WASHINGTON, August 17, 1864-10.30 a.m.
I have seen your dispatch,* expressing your unwillingness to break your hold where you are. Neither am I willing. Hold on with a bulldog grip, and chew and choke as much as possible.
CITY POINT, VA., August 17, 1864-9 p.m. (Received 8 p.m. 18th.)
President of the United States:
I have thought on your dispatch+ relative to an arrangement between General Lee and myself for the suppression of incendiarism by the respective armies. Experience has taught us that agreements made with rebels are binding upon us, but are not observed by the them longer than suits their convenience. On the whole, I think the best can be done is to publish a prohibitory order against burning private property, except where it is a military necessity or in retaliation for like acts by the enemy. Where burning is done in retaliation it must be done by order of a department or army commander, and the order for such burning to set forth the particular act it is in retaliation for. Such an order could be published and would come to the knowledge of the rebel army. I think this course would be much better than any agreement with General Lee. I could publish the order, or it could be published by you. This is respectfully submitted for your consideration, and I will then act as you deem best.
U. S. GRANT,
*See August 15, p. 193.
+See August 14, p. 167.