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[474]

In his dispatch of June 5th, Dana states, that since his report of June 2d, 19,190 men had reinforced Grant's army, and that, at that date, it contained 115,000 fighting men. He concludes: ‘Generals Grant and Meade agree that Lee's whole command, here and south of Richmond, is now 80,000, exclusive of any mere militia that may have been at Richmond.’ In reality Lee had, at that time in his immediate command, less than 30,000 men, all told.

On the afternoon of June 5th, Dana, for the first time, intimates a retreat to the James by saying: ‘Sheridan thinks we shall have no difficulty in crossing the Chickahominy at Jones' bridge and below.’ On the morning of the 7th, he says: ‘Grant is now nearly ready to strike for the James; and he means to stay here but a short time,’ meaning at Cold Harbor. Again on the 8th: ‘Two officers of General Grant's staff are now with General Butler, making arrangements for the movement of this army to Bermuda Hundred. They ought to be back to-morrow. Possibly the march may begin to-morrow night.’ On the afternoon of the 9th, he reported: ‘Our engineers, under General Barnard, are now at work on an inner line of intrenchments to cover the withdrawal of the army from this position. Very probably this movement will begin to-morrow night.’ Again, on the morning of the 10th, Dana wrote: ‘General Grant is waiting for the report of Lieutenant-Colonel Comstock and Lieutenant-Colonel Porter, the officers sent Tuesday to General Butler, before deciding as to movement of the army. Possibly it may be necessary to send an army corps to General Butler, in order to make his position perfectly safe, while this army is moving to James river, and Lee is temporarily released from the danger of being attacked. . . . General Grant does not expect to be able to cross the Chickahominy higher than Long Bridge, but he will try to get over at Bottom's bridge and secure a road connected with that crossing.’ On the morning of the 12th, Dana reported the return of the messengers from Butler, and wrote: ‘Army moves to-night after dark. . . . If not opposed by enemy in force, column will strike James river opposite Bermuda Hundred. If resisted, they will move to point opposite Fort Powhatan. General Butler has been ordered to throw a bridge and corduroy across the marsh at the latter place.’

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