War of the Rebellion: Serial 089 Page 1098 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N.C. Chapter LIV.

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December 29, 1864.

Brevet Brigadier-General HARRIS,

Commanding First Division, Army of West Virginia:

GENERAL: I am instructed by the major-general commanding the corps to say that, as it is practicable the troops of the Second Division will return to-morrow, you will have to vacate the camp formerly occupied by General Curtis' command and select a new position. For more detailed instructions, will you please come over, or send a staff officer to these headquarters.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.

NORFOLK, VA., December 29, 1864.

Major-General BUTLER,

Headquarters Army of the James:

The Chamberlain arrived this morning. Captain Fitch reports that all the troops were embarked by 2.30 p.m. Wednesday, but one man being drowned. Just before leaving it was reported that 6,000 rebels* came down to make an attack, but the fire of the gun-boats induced them to think better of it. Captains Fitch and Bleadenhiser and the men of the Naval Brigade acted with great industry and skill. The boats of the navy co-operated heartily. I trust you will mention Captain Fitch honorably for his highly meritorious conduct. Lieutenant De Kay returned in the Chamberlain. I leave for New York this afternoon.



CITY POINT, December 30, 1864-10.30 p.m.

(Received 11.50 a.m.)


Secretary of War:

Your dispatch* of 9.30 last evening just received. I will answer fully in a few hours. Troops have all returned and transports dispersed.



CITY POINT, VA., December 30, 1864-12 m.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War, Washington:

I have ordered the chief quartermaster to reassemble at Fortress Monroe all the transports used by Butler, and additional ones sufficient to carry 1,500 men, 8,000 in all, and to have them fueled and watered to their fullest capacity for carrying troops. He thinks it can be done by Monday morning. Not a person here knows the objects of this but myself, chief of staff, and cipher operator, who has to know it, of course. It will not be known to another. When all is ready I will


* See Welles to Grant, 9.30 p.m. December 29, p.1091.