effected by armies moving to the interior of the enemy's country from the territory they have to guard. By such movements they interpose themselves between the enemy and the country to be guarded, thereby reducing the number necessary to guard important points, or at least occupy the attention of a part of the enemy's force, if not greater object is gained. Lee's army any Richmond being the greater objects toward which our attention must be directed in the next campaign, it is desirable to unite all the force was can against the. The necessity of covering Washington with the Army of the Potomac, and of covering your department with your army, makes it impossible to unite these forces at the beginning of any move. I propose, therefore what comes nearest this of anything that seems practical: The Army of Potomac will act form its present base, Lee's army being the objective point. You will collect all the forces from your command that can be spared from garrison duty-I should say not less than 20,000 effective men-to operate on the south side of James River, Richmond being your objective point. To the force you already have will be added about 10,000 men from South Carolina, under Major-General Gillmore, who will command them in person. Major General W. F. Smith is ordered to report to you, to command the troops sent into the field from your own department. General Gillmore will be ordered to report to you at Fortress Montore, with all the troops on transports, by the 18th instant, or as soon thereafter as practicable. Should you not receive notice by that time to move, you will make such disposition as to the real move to be made.
When you are notified to move, take City Point with as much force as possible. Fortify, or rather intrench, at once, and concentrate all you troops for the field there as rapidly as you can. From City Point directions cannot be given at this time for your further movements.
The fact that has already been stated-that is, that Richmond is to be your objective point, and that there is to be co-operation between your force and the Army of the Potomac-must be your guide. This indicted the necessity of your holding close to the south bank of the James River as you advance. Then, should the enemy be forced into his entrenchments in Richmond, the Army of the Potomac would follow, and by means of transports the two armies would become a unit.
All the minor details of your advance are left entirely to your direction. If, however, you think it practicable to use your cavalry south of your, so as to cut the railroad about Hucksford about the time of the general advance, it would be of immense advantage.
You will please forward for my information, at the earliest practicable day, all orders, details, and instructions you may give for the execution of this order.
U. S. GRANT,
On the 16th these instructions were substantially reiterated.* On the 19th [18th+], in order to secure full co-operation between his army and that of General Meade, he was informed that I expected him to move from Fort Monroe the same day that General Meade moved from Culpeper. The exact time I was to telegraph him as soon as it was fixed, and that it would not be earlier than the 27th of April; that it was my intention to fight Lee between Culpeper and richmond if he would stand; should he, however, fall back into Richmond, I would follow up and make a junction with his (General Butler's) army on the James River; that, could I be certain he would be able to invest Richmond on the south side, so as to have his left resting on the James above the city, I would form the junction there; that circumstances might make this course advisable anyhow; that he should use every exertion to secure footing as far up the south side of the river as he could, and as soon as possible after the receipt of orders to move; that if he could not carry the city, he should at least detain as large a force there as possible. In co-operation with the main movements against lee and Johnston I was desirous of using all other troops necessarily kept in departments remote from the fields of immediate operations, and also those kept in the background for the protection of our extended lines between the loyal States and the armies operating against them.
*See Vol. XXXIII, p. 885.
+See Vol. XXXIII, p. 904.