HDQRS. DEPAT. OF N. CAROLINA AND SOUTHERN VIRGINIA,
May 19, 1864.
General BRAXTON BRAGG,
Commanding C. S. Armies, Richmond, Va.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of uyour letter of this date at 6.20 p. m. I concur fully in your views that the enemy now in the peninsula formed by the James and Appomattox Rivers should be so annoyed as to force him, iof possible, to evacuate his present positon, but the measures you propose are not entirely adequate, I thik, to that end. He is well fortified, a ndholds such an extent of country that long range artillery used aginst him at night would not produce the desired demoralization, no rould it, in my opinion, force him to draw in his lines. Ihad in contemplation and had issued the necessary orders for an attack to- morrow morning on the position of the enemy when your dispatch of this date transferring troops fromthis command was received, which tansfer defeats my object. By this movement, which I had every assurance would be successful, my lines would be shortened by a mile and ahalf, thus enabling me to hold Butler within smaller bounds with a smaller foce. This effected, I propose to move with all availabele troops no required here to the south side of the Appomattox, thence down the south bank of the James, and assail and carry by stom Fort Powhatan. This position faortified would enable us to cut off altogetehr water communications with the force operating in my present front. This done, the enemy would, in my opinion, be forced to abandon this peninsula. Cannot the feparture of the troops ordered fromhere be dealyed untilteh execution of this plan!
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. T. BEAUREGARD,
*See Mallory to Seddon, May 24, 1864, VOL. XXXVI, Part III, p. 829.