HEADQUARTERS SECOND CORPS,
August 20, 1864.
GENERAL: Your command will cross at Broadway. You will perhaps find some of our wagons on that road, though they will probably be over before you start. The general suggests that you send a small party ahead to picket your road, so there may be no mistake.
C. H. MORGAN,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS SECOND CAVALRY DIVISION,
August 20, 1864.
Colonel C. H. SMITH,
Commanding Second Brigade, Second Division:
COLONEL: You will withdraw your brigade from its present position at dark, and move by way of Marlvern Hill to the plain on James River, and there mass your brigade until the divisions of the Second Army Corps shall have crossed the bridge, when you will move over and proceed by way of the pontoon bridge at Broadway, on the Appomattox, to the vicinity of headquarters Army of the Potomac, where you will receive further orders. The pickets will not be withdrawn until 9 p. m. The regiments on picket will be withdrawn by the Malvern Hill road.
D. McM. GREGG,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA,
In the Field, August 20, 1864 - 1.40 p. m. (Received 2.25 p. m.)
Two deserters from Pickett's division have just come in, one a very intelligent man. He informs me that six regiments have been taken from Pickett's division and sent across the James River; that t on our left, opposite Port Walthall, they have reduced the line, so that the line of battle is scarcely stronger than the skirmish line, being one man in every twenty feet. I believe this statement. I think the weak point now is in front of our line, and if we had the Tenth Corps here I have no doubt we could go out on the left; at least I should be inclined to try it. I do not think we have over 3,500 men between the two rivers. that you may judge for yourself, I will send you the deserter, with yesterday's paper. Please question him. Allow me also to call your attention to the fact that the last of the 100-days' regiments go away from me to-day. Certainly, in the absence of the Tenth Corps, I have no one whom I can send to Fort Powhatan or Fort Pocahontas. Allow me to suggest that as the colored troops of the Ninth Corps are so much demoralized and broken up for want of officers, if they could be sent to me, by putting the weaker ones in Powhatan and Pocahontas, they might be recruited up and got into condition.
GENJ. F. BUTLER,