HDQRS. DEPT. OF VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA,
August 22, 1864-12.35 a.m. (Received 12.40 a.m.)
Scouts report that at 5 o'clock this evening the absent troops made their appearance again in their old places in front of our lines. The officer in charge of picket-line reports it as fully manned. I sent to General Birney for his opinion of the movement and he telegraphs as follows.* Shall we move at 2 o'clock as proposed?
BENJ. F. BUTLER,
CITY POINT, VA., August 22, 1864-1.30 a.m.
Your dispatch of 12.35 received. Under the circumstances, I think you had better not move.
U. S. GRANT,
I send the following from signal officer. What can it mean? The night trains were very heavy. These troops did not cross Chaffin's farm this morning:
HEADQUARTERS DEPT. OF VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA,
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF SIGNAL OFFICER,
August 22, 1864.
Acting Chief of Staff:
COLONEL: The following dispatch has just been received and is respectfully forwarded:
"SPRING HILL SIGNAL STATION,
"August 22, 1864-8.50 a.m.
"Twenty cars heavily loaded with troops just passed the Junction toward Petersburg. Also twenty-seven wagons and 100 cavalry on turnpike toward Petersburg.
"Lieutenant and Signal Officer."
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
L. B. NORTON,
Captain and Chief Signal Officer,
B. F. BUTLER,
CITY POINT, VA., August 22, 1864.
The troops reported moving toward Petersburg must be the same that were opposed to the Second and Tenth Corps north of the James. They probably crossed the river during the night so as to escape observation.
U. S. GRANT,
*See Birney to Butler, 21st (sent 12.15 a.m. 22nd), p. 379.