will forward information. I have some reasons for doubting the veracity of the deserters and the genuineness of their intentions. One of your men reports a dust moving toward McClellan's Bridge. Four German deserters, who came in early in the morning, do not confirm altogether the reports of the last two. Butler seems certainly to have joined Grant. Only two pieces of artillery have reported to me, and I have them masked at Bottom's Bridge. I could probably hold this position for some time, but it would be well to re-enforce it if practicable. In order to facilitate communication between us, I would be obliged for four or five men who know the country and where your headquarters are.
Very respectfully, &c.,
M. C. BUTLER,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF RICHMOND,
June 2, 1864.
General R. E. LEE,
Commanding Army of Northern Virginia:
GENERAL: General Ransom has left for Bottom's Bridge; is probably there by this time (5 p. m.). He had two batteries of light artillery sent to the intermediate line on the Williamsburg road at an early hour this morning. There are two batteries near the brigade of General Gracie (at Chaffin's farm). The battalion of Lieutenant-Colonel Eshleman has been ordered to report to him from General Beauregard's department. In the absence of General Ransom I can give no more definite idea of the location of his artillery, as I have not heard from him since he left; but you can judge from the number of batteries at his disposal whether it will be necessary to send any more artillery over.
T. O. CHESTNEY,
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.
HANCOCK'S HOUSE, June 2, 1864--2.35 p. m.
General BRAXTON BRAGG:
I am just from the front. Reconnaissance in force of this morning shows it might be dangerous to send away Ransom's brigade, constituting over one-third available infantry force now here. We must elect at present between Bottom's Bridge and railroad communication between Petersburg and Richmond.
G. T. BEAUREGARD.
HANCOCK'S, June 2, 1864.
General B. BRAGG:
Ransom's brigade will be sent as requested this evening, or soon as it can be relieved from the lines. I have ordered a forced reconnaissance of enemy's position; now progressing. Will report result.
G. T. BEAUREGARD.