War of the Rebellion: Serial 088 Page 1086 Chapter LIV. OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C.

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The commanding general of the army will endeavor to keep himself in communication with the corps commanders, so as to afford any direction, advice, or assistance that may be in his power,and by being kept advised of the movements of the one and the other of the corps commanders, as well as the commanded of General Kautz, he may be thus enabled to secure more perfect co-operation than would otherwise be possible. If the movement is made with celerity; if the march is held uninterruptedly as much as possible, and if in the first attack the element of unity of time is observed, which has been greatly neglected in some of the movements of the army, we shall gain over the enemy, so far as any considerable re-enforcements are concerned, some eight to twelve hours, and perhaps more of valuable time, which ought not to be lost, and which should bring us far on our journey in the twelve miles which we are to go. As the force of the enemy is so small, there will need be none of those delays for deployments which generally take so much time in movements on the enemy. If we are not mistaken in the force opposed to us, and if we are not we shall learn it very early, that force nor any other that may be got on that side of the river for six hours need give us no alarm or trouble; nor, indeed, when the two corps have joined, need we fear any force which the enemy, by possibility can detach from his army without abandoning his position on the right altogether, in which case we shall be likely to get re-enforcements nearly as early as he will. Upon approaching the detached works at Richmond, if we are fortunate enough to succeed so far,as they will be found to be some three-quarters of a mile apart, and not connected with rifle-pits, and as they are all open in the rear, a quick movement of a small column of troops between them will put them into the hands of the attacking party. Of course, receiving the fire of the heavy guns in position, which are manned by inexperienced artillerists, and are therefore far less destructive than light guns in the same position, getting between two of their works, so as to get into the rear, would open the gates of Richmond.


Whatever division or other body of shall get into Richmond it will be their duty immediately, without waiting for parley or doing anything else, to proceed at once to the bridges across the James River, seizing upon inhabitants to guide them for that purpose, if necessary, and destroy them. Fire is the readiest way of destroying bridges such as these are-of wooden spans. As soon as that destruction has been accomplished, then, unless both columns and the cavalry column have reached the city, as large a body as can possibly be spared will be sent to open the way upon the road by which such tardy column is supposed to be advancing, by a sharp attack upon any enemy opposing in the rear. No large body of troops, it is believed, will needed for this purpose, as the enemy, under such circumstances, would make no stand. In case a portion of the troops reach Richmond, and the troops holding either bridge-head below Richmond are attacked, they are to hold the ground as long as possible, having, the movement that they strike the point which they intend to hold, strengthened themselves by intrenchment as much as possible, for which reason the battalion of engineers has been ordered to report to Major-General Ord and will be well at the front, furnished with their intrenching tools. In case the troops guarding the bridges are forced