Now that spring has arrived, I feel comfortable in setting a date to begin the Army of the Potomac’s move against Lee. We will start on May 4th. I wrote Gen. Butler to inform him of this date so that he can begin his move up the James River that night.
CULPEPER COURT- HOUSE, VA., April 28, 1864.
Major- General BUTLER,
Commanding Department of Virginia and North Carolina:
If no unforeseen accident prevents, I will move from here on Wednesday, the 4th of May. Start your forces on the night of the 4th, so as to be as far up the James River as you can get by daylight the morning of the 5th, and push from that time with all your might for the accomplishment of the object before you. Should anything transpire to delay my movement I will telegraph. Acknowledge the receipt of this by telegraph. Everything possible is now being done to accumulate a force in Washington from the Northern States, ready to re- enforce any weak points. I will instruct General Halleck to send them to you should the enemy fall behind his fortifications in Richmond. You will therefore keep the headquarters at Washington advised of every move of the enemy so far as you know them.
U. S. GRANT,
The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 10, p 364
O.R., I, xxxiii, p 1009