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9 Series I Volume XXXVIII-I Serial 72 - The Atlanta Campaign Part I

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Page 9 Chapter L. GENERAL REPORTS.

with General Butler. This raid the effect of drawing off the whole of the enemy's cavalry force, making it comparatively easy to guard our trains.

General Butler moved his main force up the James River, in pursuance of instructions, on the 4th of May, General Gillmore having joined him with the Tenth Corps. At the same time be sent a force of 1,800 cavalry, by way of West Point, to form a junction with him wherever he might get a foothold, and a force of 3,000 cavalry, under General Kautz, from Suffolk, to operate against the roads south of Petersburg and Richmond. On the 5th he occupied, without opposition, both City Point and Bermuda Hundred, his movement being a complete surprise. On the 6th he was in position with his main army and commenced intrenching. On the 7th he made a reconnaissance against the Petersburg and Richmond Rairlorad, destroying a portion of it after fighting. On the 9th he telegraphed as follows:


HEADQUARTERS, Near Bermuda Landing, May 9, 1864.

Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:

Our operations may be summed up in a few words. With 1,700 cavalry 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 our 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, intrenched ourselves, destroyed many miles of railroad, and got a position which, with proper supplies, we can hold out 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 railroad 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,

Major-General.

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 Darling, with small loss. The time thus consumed from the 6th lost to us the benefit of the surprise and capture of Richmond and Petersburg, enabling, as it did, Beauregard to collect his loose forces 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 intrenchments between the forks of the James and Appomattox Rivers, the enemy intrenching 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 Katuz with his cavalry was started on a raid against the Danville railroad, which he struck at Coalfield, Powhatan, and Chula Stations, destroying them, the railroad track, two freight 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, Wellville, and Blacks and Whites Stations, destroying the road and station-houses; thence he proceeded


Page 9 Chapter L. GENERAL REPORTS.

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