tions, but feel out to the right beyond the front, and, if you can, turn it. Have your men go with three days' rations in their haversacks, sixty rounds of ammunition on their persons, and as near without wagons and ambulances as it is possible to go. It probably will be well to move all transportation, not absolutely necessary with the army, to the south side of the James. This need not take place before your movement of Thursday, but should commence in the morning with your movement. Let it be distinctly understood by corps commanders that there is to be no attack made against defended, intrenched positions. They should also have their command fully instructed as to the possibility of the enemy moving out from their right on the James to attack in flank or rear. This demonstration on the part of the enemy is not likely to occur, but should be guarded against, and should be taken advantage of it attempted. Your cavalry, I believe, is not now well commanded. If it was, and the opportunity occurred, I would favor sending that to the Central road, to destroy as much track as possible, and return to the James River, in rear of your army. As it is, I will leave this to your judgment, whether the trip can be made; you being present with your army can form a judgment after the first few hours of your movement as to the expediency of attempting this. I shall myself be with the forces on our extreme left. Such dispatches as you may want to send to me through the day of days we may be out will reach me by courier from the headquarters of the Ninth Army Corps.
U. S. GRANT,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF VA. AND N. C.
ARMY OF THE JAMES,
In the Field, October 24, 1864.
The transaction of business at these headquarters is constantly impeded by the inexcusable delay of subordinate officers in furnishing information required of them. This is true both in regard to regular returns and reports, and those specially called for.
Both promptitude and accuracy are peremptorily required, and no excuse will be considered valid except that the troops are actually in action at the time. The fact that men are engaged in fortifying or intrenching will not be accepted as an excuse for remissness of their officers, which must be chargeable simply to laziness and inattention.
Officers are once for all warned of the strict responsibility to which they will be held.
By command of Major-General Butler:
ED. W. SMITH,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA, OFFICE OF THE CHIEF SIGNAL OFFICER, October 24, 1864.
Lieutenant Colonel G. A. KENSEL, Chief of Staff:
COLONEL: The signal officer of Cobb's Hill reports at 11.30 a.m. that since daylight three trains had passed toward Petersburg and one toward Richmond. On account of the smoke he was unable to tell the number, kind, or contents.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. R. CLUM,
Captain and Chief Signal Officer, Dept.of Va., and N. C.