nothing yet of Smiths troops reaching White House. If I can get up to attack will not wait his arrival. I wish you would send all the Ponton bridging you can to City Point to have it ready in case it is wanted
U S GRANT
Telegram received, DNA, RG 107, Telegrams Collected (Bound); copies, ibid., RG 108, Letters Sent; DLC-USG, V, 45, 59, 66. O. R., I, xxxvi, part 1, 10; ibid., I, xxxvi, part 3, 322. On May 31, 1864, 3:00 P. M., Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck telegraphed to USG. "It is understood that Genl Benham took to Fort Monroe nearly every available ponton. If any more can be found they will be sent immediately. Two steamers have left New York for this place with sixty pontons on board. I have telegraphed to Fort Monroe to intercept them if possible. If they come here they will be sent back immediately. Please say about how many pontons—or what length of bridge—is wanted so that I can make arrangements accordingly. If Genl Hunter meets with no serious disaster, I think a part of Sigel's force at Harper's Ferry & on road to Ohio River can be safely withdrawn. It is too late to send more troops to Hunter, but I can send them to you, if you want them. I think four regts of infantry can be spared." ALS (telegram sent), DNA, RG 107, Telegrams Collected (Bound); telegram received, ibid.; (incomplete) ibid., RG 108, Letters Received. O. R., I, xxxvi, part 3, 375. On June 1, Brig. Gen. Richard Delafield, chief engineer, wrote to Brig. Gen. John A. Rawlins. "In pursuance of instructions received from Major Genl Halleck this Department has ordered to be sent to Bermuda Hundred subject to the orders of Lt Genl Grant one train consisting of 60 French Bateaux with the equipage forming a bridge of 1200 feet in length The train is now on its way in two steamers one of which left here this morning Please to communicate this information to the General-in-Chief" LS, DNA, RG 108, Letters Received.
May 30th/64 6 40 P. M.
MAJ GEN MEADE
Gen Smith will debark his force at the White House tonight and start up the south bank of the Pamunkey at an early hour, probably at 3 a. m. in the morning. It is not improbable that the enemy, being aware of Smith's movement may be feeling to get on our left flank for the purpose of cutting him off, or by a dash, to crush him and get back before we are aware of it. Sheridan