may be regretted, it is now inevitable. Instructions were accordingly given yesterday for Longstreet, with his two divisions, and battalion of artillery, to proceed immediately to Charlottesville and report to you. They will move as rapidly as possbile by rail. I will give immediate attention to your other requests and see if it be practicable to gratify them. Longstreet should bring you some 12,000 men. Every effort is being made to increase the supplies here, and some success has attended us since your last visit. Attention is being given to the completion of the Piedmont road, and to its immediate use by putting wagon trains in the gap. This whole subject, however, is a source of great anxiety, and I can but add that to me it is not without painful apprehension. The Ninth and Twenty-third Corps, reported by General Longstreet to have left Knoxville, do not together number over 5,000 effective infantry now. But General Johnston on the 6th and 7th telegraphs that large bodies of troops are arriving at Chattanooga by rail from Knoxville. He has been requested to ascertain if they stop there or move this way. He reports Hooker's command, the Eleventh and Twelfth Corps, as still near Chattanooga. I shall be truly happy to hear from you, general, and to receive your valuable suggestions and advice, together with all information you may obtain.
I am, sir, with high respect and regard, your obedient servant,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF N. CAROLINA AND SOUTH VIRGINIA,
Drewry's Bluff, May 15, 1864.
His Excellency President DAVIS,
SIR: Upon further inquiry as to the shortest and safest route (via Newby's Bridge) by which Major-General Whiting could travel with his small force to this point, it was found he would require two days to reach here, the distance being at least thirty-four miles, with roads in bad condition owing to the prevailing rains. In a telegram of this morning he expresses his fears of an immediate attack upon him by the enemy. At the same time Captain Davidson, of the Navy, informs me that a large fleet of gun-boats and transports of the enemy are about four miles below Chaffin's Bluff, probably to re-enforce Butler and make a combined attack by land and water. Under these circumstances, and in view of the fact that the enemy is diligently employed in erecting batteries and rifle-pits around this place, further delay might be fatal to success, and I have determined to attack him in my front at daybreak to-morrow morning, with the forces at present available here increased by Barton's brigade, as authorized by you. I have ordered Major-General Whiting to co-operate with allhis forces by attacking the enemy in rear from Swift Creek. A copy of my instructions to him and of my order of battle will be forwarded as soon as practicable to the War Department.* I have availed myself of the services of Major-General Ransom to command one of the two divisions of this army. I hope, under the protection of a kind Providence, that our efforts to-morrow will meet with success.
I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. T. BEAUREGARD,
*See VOL. XXXVI, Part II, p. 200.