HDQRS. DEPT. OF VIRGINIA, ARMY OF THE JAMES,
In the Field, February 6, 1865-8.35 p.m.
Commanding Bermuda Front:
Signal officer Crow's Nest Tower states that an orderly from commanding officer of the pickets reports the rams coming down the river. Investigate the truth of this statement and report to me. If there is any foundation for it get your batteries ready. Use your calcium light as soon as there is any use for it. The pickets on the river-bank should be strengthened and your reserves held in readiness.
E. O. C. ORD,
Major-General Volunteers, Commanding.
HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY DIVISION,
February 6, 1865-6.30 p.m.
Chief of Staff:
Colonel Spear has just returned from a reconnaissance with 200 men. He went as far as the White Oak Swamp, on the other side of which was a picket-post of eight men, one of whom he captured. The picket-post belonged to the Seventh South Carolina Regiment, Gary's brigade. No signs of the enemy on this side of the swamp, and no changes in the position or strength of Gary's command could be ascertained. Colonel Spear went out by Riddell's Shop, the same route pursued by Colonel Evans on the 31st ultimo. I have a number of individual scouts out; two came back, reporting that they could not get through White Oak Swamp on account of the enemy's pickets; they could give no information of the enemy; one represented himself as a deserter, and found a man who wanted to show him the way of Long Bridge and help him on, saying seven deserters had crossed there the day before. Colonel Spear has four other prisoners, two of them soldiers and the others claiming to be citizens.
AUGUST V. KAUTZ,
Brigadier and Brevet Major-General.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF EASTERN VIRGINIA,
Norfolk, Va., February 6, 1865.
Brigadier General I. N. PALMER,
Commanding District of North Carolina, New Berne, N. C.:
GENERAL: When you were here I understood that you would immediately relieve the troops at Coirjock. General Ord also informed me that you were instructed to do so. I should be greatly obliged if you will do so immediately, as I must withdraw the troops now there, and it is indispensable that their places should be filled by troops from your command, in order to protect the mail-boats to New Berne and Roanoke Island. I shall be obliged by a reply as early as convenient.
With great respect, I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
GEO. F. SHEPLEY,