War of the Rebellion: Serial 088 Page 1058 Chapter LIV. OPERATIONS IN SE.VA.,AND N.C.

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CITY POINT, VA., September 27, 1864-11.30 a.m.

General BUTLER:

Make all your changes of troops at once, ready for the execution of orders verbally communicated, so as to have troops as fresh as possible.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

HDQRS. DEPT. OF VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA,

In the Field, September 27, 1864-12 m.

Lieutenant-General GRANT,

Commanding,&c.:

Telegram received. The dispositions are being made.

BENJ. F. BUTLER,

Major-General, Commanding.

CITY POINT, VA., September 27, 1864.

Major-General BUTLER,

Commanding Army of the James:

Prepare your army according to the verbal instructions already given for moving on the morning of the 29th instant. Your lines between the James and Appomattox Rivers can be held with new regiments and such artillery as you deem necessary. All garrisons from your command below the mouth of the Appomattox will be left as they are now. The movement should be commenced at night, and so as to get a considerable force north of the James River, ready to assault the enemy's lines in front of Deep Bottom, and from Aiken's house or other point above Deep Bottom, where the two assaulting columns will be in easy supporting distance of each other, as soon as the enemy's line is broken at the dawn of day. If one good division from each of your corps are over in time for this, with the balance of these corps following, with a pontoon bridge for each, it will answer. The object of this movement is to surprise and capture Richmond, if possible. This cannot be done if time is given the enemy to move forces to the north side of the river. Success will depend on prompt movement at the start. Should the outer line be broken, the troops will push for Richmond with all promptness, following roads as near the river as possible. It is impossible to point out the line of march for an army in the presence of the enemy, make it impracticable. It is known that the enemy has intrenched positions on the bank of the river between Deep Bottom and Richmond, such as Chaffin's farm, which are garrisoned. If these can be captured in passing, they should be held by suitable garrisons. If not captured, troops should be left to hold them in their position, and should intrench to make themselves strong. It will be necessary, therefore, to have your engineer troops, with their tools, well up with the advance. Should you succeed in getting to Richmond, the interposition of the whole army (rebel) between you and your supplies need cause you no alarm. With the army under General Meade, supplies could be cut off from the enemy in the event of so unexpected a move, and communication opened with you either by the south side or from the White House before the supplies you would find in the city would be exhausted. In