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[429] from the railroad, the destruction of which he had so vauntingly announced.

A few days thereafter he again emerged from his cover, but this time changed his objective point and, diverging from the south bank of the James River, moved toward Petersburg and reached the railroad at Port Walthal Junction, where he encountered some of General Beauregard's command which had been ordered from Charleston, and was driven from the railroad and turnpike. The troops ordered from Charleston with General Beauregard had, by May 14th, reached the vicinity of Drewry's Bluff. In connection with the works and rifle pits on the bluff, which were to command the river and prevent the ascent of gunboats, an entrenched line had been constructed on a ridge about a mile south of the bluff, running across the road from Richmond to Petersburg. This ridge was higher than the ground on which the fort was built, and was designed to check an approach of the enemy from the south, as well as to cover the rear of the fort. In the afternoon of the 14th I rode down to visit General Beauregard at his headquarters in the field. Supposing his troops to be on the line of entrenchment, I passed Major Drewry's house to go thither, when someone by the roadside called to me and told me that the troops were not on the line of entrenchment, and that General Beauregard was at the house behind me.

My first question on meeting him was to learn why the entrenchments were abandond. He answered that he thought it better to concentrate his troops. Upon my stating to him that there was nothing then to prevent Butler from turning his position, he said he would desire nothing more, as he would then fall upon him, cut him off from his base, etc.

According to my uniform practice never to do more than to make a suggestion to a general commanding in the field, the subject was pressed no further. We then passed to the consideration of the operations to be undertaken against Butler, who had already advanced from his base at Bermuda Hundred. I offered, for the purpose of attacking Butler, to send Major General Ransom with the field force he had for the protection of Richmond. In addition to his high military capacity, his minute knowledge of the country in which they were to operate made him specially valuable. He reported to General Beauregard at noon on the 15th, received his orders for the battle which was to occur the next day, and about 10 P. M. was, with a division of four brigades and a battery of light artillery, in position in front of the breastworks. Colonel Dunovant, with a regiment of cavalry not under Ransom's

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