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Headquarters, Department N. C. and so. Va., Petersburg, Va., June 21st, 1864.
Genl. Braxton Bragg, Comdg. C. S. Armies, Richmond, Va.:
General,—Your communication of the 16th inst.—requesting me to inform you at what hour last night (15th) I ordered Major-General Johnson to evacuate the lines across Bermuda Hundreds Neck; at what hour during the night he made the movement; what force was ordered to replace him; and whether I informed General R. E. Lee of the movement; if so, at what hour, and by what channel of communication; also, whether any guns or other military stores were left by General Johnson's command—was not received by me until the evening of the 19th inst., else it would have met with an earlier acknowledgment.

In reply thereto I have the honor to submit that, on the morning of the 15th inst., the force under my command for the immediate defence of Petersburg (about 2200 of all arms) consisted of Wise's brigade, some artillery, two regiments of Dearing's cavalry, and a few militia. During the night of the 14th I received from you the following despatch:

Richmond, June 14th, 1864:9.10 P. M.
Genl. Beauregard:
General Lee reports Grant has abandoned his depot on the York, and moved to James River, he supposes about McClellan's old base, at Harrison's Landing. Lee is on a line from Malvern Hill to White Oak Swamp. He has sent Hoke's division to Drury's Bluff, with a view to reinforce you, in case Petersburg is threatened.

On its receipt the following order was immediately sent to Major-General Hoke:

Headquairters, Department N. C. And so. Va., June 14th, 1864.
General,—The Commanding General directs that you move at once, as rapidly as possible, with your division to Petersburg, leaving one brigade at Walthall Junction.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

Jno. M. Otey, A. A. G.

‘To Major-Genl. R. F. Hoke, Drury's Bluff.’

Early on the morning of the 15th I advised you in several despatches that the enemy had been strongly reinforced; that Dearing's pickets had been driven in; and that the enemy was moving in force towards the Baxter and Jerusalem plank road, and asked for reinforcements. I also added that the time had arrived when an election must be made between the lines of Bermuda Neck and Petersburg. With my small force it was an impossibility to hold both. At 7 A. M. of the 15th I sent you the following despatch:

Return of Butler's forces sent to Grant, arrival of latter at Harrison's Landing, renders my position more critical than ever, if not reinforced immediately; for enemy could force my lines at Bermuda Hundreds Neck, capture Battery Dantzler, now nearly ready, or take Petersburg, before any troops from Lee's

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