Near Spotsylvania C. H. Va.
May 20th 1864
MAJ. GEN. H. W. HALLECK,
CHIEF OF STAFF OF THE ARMY,
In regard to the operations it is better for General Hunter to engage in with the disposable forces at his command I am a little in doubt. It is evident that he can move south, covering the road he has to guard, with a larger force than he can spare to be removed, to reinforce armies elswhere. Then too under the instructions to Gen. Sigel Crook was to get through to the Va & Ten. rail-road, cut New River Bridge and move Eastward to Lynchburg if he could, if not toFinn Castle, Staunton and down the Shenandoah Valley. Sigel was to collect what force he could spare from the rail-road and move up the valley with a supply train to meet him.
The enemy is evidently relying for supplies greatly on such as are brought over the branch road running through Staunton. On the whole therefore I think it would be better for Gen. Hunter to move in that direction. Reach Staunton and Gordonsville, or Charlottesville if he does not meet too much opposition. If he can hold at bay a force equal to his own he will be doing good service. 1
In a letter to the Sec. of War written about one week ago 2 I recommended Gens. Sherman and Meade for promotion to Maj. Gen. in the regular army and Hancock for Brig. I wish you would urge this again. The Secretary replied that there was but one vacan[cy] for Maj. Gen. I think this must be a mistake. I was appointed before Gen. Wool was retired or at least was notified of the fact that an original vacancy existed before his retirement.
Gen. Wright is one of the most meritorious officers in the service, and with opportunity will demonstrate his fitness for any position. But at present I doubt whether Sheridan has not most