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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 36, Part 1 (Wilderness-Cold Harbor)
Page 72 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N.C. Chapter XLVIII.

the extreme right yesterday. Besides the First Regiment of Vermont Artillery, the only new troops that have yet reported here are about 1,800 drafted men, recruits, and men discharged from hospitals. Mott's division, of the Second Corps, has been reduced to a brigade and attached to Birney's division. General Mott applied verbally to General Hancock to be relieved, but General Meade gave him notice that if a formal application should be made he would recommend that General Mott should be mustered out of service. No rain here since daylight. Roads rapidly drying. If the good weather holds it will be possible to move to-morrow.

C. A. DANA.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

SPOTSYLVANIA BATTLE-FIELD, May 17, 1864-8 a.m. (Received 3.50 p.m.)

No change in the situation of the army since my dispatch of last evening. Weather still unsettled, though but little rain has fallen during the night. Army will move just as soon as the skies and roads are such as not to endanger the success of the blow to be struck. Colonel Murphy, with the Irish Legion, reported last evening 1,600 muskets; the remainder, according to Colonel Murphy, being drunk on the road. They are assigned to the Sixth Corps. General Grant last evening ordered General R. O. Tyler to be here to-night with all his troops that have reached Belle Plain.

C. A. DANA.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

SPOTSYLVANIA, May 17, 1864-4 p.m. (Received 10.50 p.m.)

Weather is splendid, and roads rapidly becoming dry, even where mud was worst. Orders for decisive movement of the army have been issued. They are to be executed during the night. Hancock's corps, which, with exception of Birney's division, has now for two days been maneuvered in the rear of General Warren, moves after dark to the left of the Sixth Corps, which now forms our left. Birney's division follows immediately after, so as of join the corps in its new position before daylight. At 3 a.m. Burnside's corps withdraws from our lines on the right of Warren, and takes up a new position as a reserve in the rear of Wright and Hancock. Both Birney and Burnside are directed to leave their pickets out, in order, as far as possible, to keep this movement a secret from the enemy. Wright and Hancock are to attack with the first glimmering of day, and Burnside is to be ready to support them and fill the place of any troops that may get into disorder in the ardor of the assault. Had there been such a column to support Hancock on Thursday last there is no doubt Lee must have been routed. Our cavalry have been this morning as far as Guiney's Station. They report the enemy there in considerable force. Very possible he suspects that General Grant will renew attempt to turn his right; possibly, too, he is only protecting a quantity of supplies. The Irish Legion has been assigned to Hancock, and not to Wright, as


Page 72 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N.C. Chapter XLVIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 36, Part 1 (Wilderness-Cold Harbor)
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