complete surprise. On the 6th he was in position with his main army and commenced entrenching. On the 7th he made a reconnaissance against the Petersburg and Richmond Railroad, destroying a portion of it after some fighting. On the 9th he telegraphed as follows:
Near Bermuda Landing, May 9, 1864.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
Our operations may be summed up in a few words. With 1,700 we have advanced up the Peninsula, forced the Chickahominy, and have safely brought them to our present position. These were colored cavalry, and are now holding our advance pickets toward Richmond. General Kautz, with 3,000 cavalry from Suffolk, on the same day with or movement up, James River, forced the Blackwater, burned the railroad bridge at Stony Creek, below Petersburg, cutting in two Beauregard's force at that point. We have landed here, entrenched ourselves, destroyed many against the whole of Lee's army. I have ordered up the supplies. Beauregard with a large portion of his force was left south by the cutting of the railroads by Kautz. That portion which reached Petersburg under Hill I have whipped to-day, killing and wounding many and taking many prisoners, after a severe and well-contested fight. General Grant will not be troubled with any further re-enforcements to Lee from Beauregard's force.
BENJ. F. BUTLER,
On the evening of the 13th and morning of the 14th he carried a portion of the enemy's first line of defenses at Drewry's Bluff, or Fort us the benefit of the surprise and capture of Richmond and Petersburg, enabling, as it did, Beauregard to collect his loose force in North and South Carolina, and bring them to the defense of those places. On the 16th the enemy attacked General Butler in his position in front of Drewry's Bluff. He was forced back, or drew back, into his entrenchments between the forks of the James and Appomattox Rivers, the enemy entrenching strongly in his front, thus covering his railroads, the city, and all that was valuable to him. His army, therefore, though in a position of great security, was as completely shut off from further operations directly against Richmond as if it had been in a bottle strongly corked. It required but a comparatively small force of the enemy to hold it there. On the 12th General Kautz with his cavalry was started on a raid against the Danville railroad, which the struck at Coalfield, Powhatan, and Chula Stations, destroying them, the railroad track, two fregit trains, and one locomotive, together with large quantities of commissary and other stores; thence crossing to the South Side road, struck it at Wilson's, Wellsville, and Blacks and Whites Stations, destroying the road and station-house; thence he proceeded to City Point, which he reached on the 18th. On the 19th of April, and prior to the movement of General Butler, the enemy, with a land force under General Hoke and an iron-clad ram, attacked Plymouth, N. C., commanded by General H. W. Wessels, and our gun-boats there, and after sever fighting the place was carried by assault, and the entire garrison and armament captured. The gun-boat Southfield was sunk and the Miami disabled.*
The army sent to operate against Richmond having hermetically sealed itself up at Berumda Hundred, the enemy was enabled to bring the most, if not all, the re-enforcements brought from the south by Beauregard against the Army of the Potomac. In addition to this re-enforcement, a very considerable one, probably not less than 15,000
*See Vol. XXXIII, p. 278.