Near Spottsylvania Court House, Va.
May 12th 1864—6:30 p. m.
MAJ GEN. HALLECK, WASHINGTON
The eighth day of battle closes, leaving between three and four thousand prisoners in our hands for the days work, including two General Officers, and over thirty pieces of Artillery. The enemy areobstinate and seem to have found the last ditch. We have lost no organizations, not even that of a Company whilst we have destroyed and captured one Division, (Johnsons) 1 one Brigade (Dole's) 2 and one Regiment entire of the enemy.
U S GRANT
Telegram, copies, DLC-USG, V, 45, 59, 66; DNA, RG 108, Letters Sent; ibid., Letters Received; DLC-Robert T. Lincoln. O. R., I, xxxvi, part 1, 4; ibid., I, xxxvi, part 2, 652.
On May 12, 1864, USG wrote to Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck. "Send Gen. Augur if possible with ten thousand of the best Infantry from the defences of Washington" ALS, Schoff Collection, MiU-C. O. R., I, xxxvi, part 2, 652. On the same day, Halleck wrote to USG. "One officer and some hundred or more men, deserters have arrived here with the wounded under pretence of wounds which on examination is found to be false. They are unquestionably cowardly deserters, and deserve the death penalty. The Secty of War has directed that the officer be placed in irons and the men under strong guard & sent back to your head. Qrs to be disposed of as you may deem proper. He directs me to say that he advises and authorizes you to have these deserters tried by a drumhead court &, if guilty, executed without delay as an example. Prompt & severe punishment is deemed necessary to prevent straggling & desertion. A considerable number of our deserters are said to be on the Rappahannock, robbing for subsistance, and waiting to get through our lines or to be picked up by rebel cavalry. Some are said to have reached the Potomac & crossed into Maryland. Your action in this matter, whatever it may be, will be sanctioned by the War Dept. I hope to be able to send you ten thousand reinforcements by to-morrow night & three or four thousand more in a few days. I have ordered every thing from the Rappahannock Station inside of Bull Run which will be our outer line. This will enable me send you some fifteen hundred men from there. A battery of artillery & some companies of Invalids have ordered to Belle Plain as guards for depot & supplies. When you break off communication with that place & the wounded are all withdrawn, the depot will be broken up and removed to such place as you may direct. Heard from Sherman to yesterday. His operations delayed by non-arrival of Stoneman's cavalry. No general engagement yet. Buzzard's Roost found too strong & he will now attempt to turn it. Nothing new from Butler. Steele returned to Little Rock