War of the Rebellion: Serial 089 Page 0048 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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CITY POINT, VA., October 2, 1864-12.30 a. m.

Major-General BUTLER:

I will send Barnard and Comstock up in the morning, but don't let this make any difference in your plans for to-morrow. General Meade will feel out in the morning to ascertain what is in his front at different points in his line, and if there is a chance for an attack on his left he will make it. His main object in feeling at different points in his front will be to ascertain whether the enemy has stripped any portion of his line.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE JAMES, October 2, 1864-9.45 a. m.

Lieutenant-General GRANT,

City Point, Va.:

Upon consultation with Generals Birney and Weitzel we are of opinion, from what we learn from the reconnaissance of yesterday, that we can go in with one corps, and certainly with both, by the Darbytown road and Charles City road. There are no troops there except the militia, composed of the employes of the several departments of the Government, and as we made two reconnaissances in that neighborhood, which are supposed by them to be cavalry reconnaissances only, their attention will be drawn from that place, especially if, as you believe, Lee looks upon this as the feint and the real attack to be made on the south side. My judgment is that this plan is more hopeful than any other, especially in view of the several attempts that have been made by the Army of the Potomac to turn the right and the want of successful accomplishment. To do this we ought to have a corps sent to take our place behind our skirmish line, on the line we now hold, while we advance. A corps can then hold that line, they marching in with the light of our fires and we marching out. I am very strongly of opinion that this plan would succeed, from the investigations I have made, and I trust the lieutenant-general has confidence enough in my means of obtaining information that I am not deceived as to the facts. As the corps would not be expected to advance one step after they get their place, and as it is only about ten miles directly from Petersburg to the left of our line here, they might make the march in the early night, so as to let us out by 2 o'clock in the morning, which would be sufficiently early. I have examined carefully the proposition of the lieutenant-general as to taking up a line to hold here with a single corps, and I find it very difficult, in view of the possible return of Early, to find a tenable line that would have any advantage over our line at Deep Bottom and Dutch Gap.

BENJ. F. BUTLER,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS AT FRONT, October 2, 1864.

Major-General BUTLER:

General Birney desires me to say the enemy are moving in strong force between him and the Darbytown road.

R. V. W. HOWARD,

Lieutenant-Colonel, &c.