The arrival of reinforcements here will be very encouraging to the men and I hope they will be sent as fast as possible and in as great numbers. My object in having them sent to Belle Plaines was to use them as an escort to our supply train. If it is more convenient to send them out by train to march from the rail-road to Belle Plain or Fredericksburg send them so.
I am satisfied the enemy are very shaky and are only kept up to the mark by the greatest exertion on the part of their officers, and by keeping them entrenched in every position they take.
Up to this time there is no indication of any portion of Lee's Army being detached for the defence of Richmond.
your obt. svt.
U. S. GRANT
ALS, DNA, Treasure Room. O. R., I, xxxvi, part 1, 4; ibid., I, xxxvi, part 2, 627‐ 28. This letter (and possibly the one preceding) was carried to Washington by U. S. Representative Elihu B. Washburne, who arrived at the War Dept. at 10:00 P. M. Adam Badeau, Military History of Ulysses S. Grant (New York, 1868-81), II, 169n; Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant (New York, 1897), pp. 97-98; Gaillard Hunt, Israel, Elihu and Cadwallader Washburn ... (New York, 1925), p. 219.
Near Spotsylvania C. H. Va.
May 11st/64 8.15 a m.
MAJ. GEN. BURNSIDE,
COMD. G 9TH A. C.
Make immediate preparation to send back to Belle Plain every team you have empty or can empty to bring up fresh supplies. Unload from your present supplies two days rations to be issued to men and ammunition enough to fill all the cartridge boxes. All the trains of the A. P. will go back at the same time.
Send as escort to the trains your Cavalry and Colored Division.