CAMP NEAR FALMOUTH, VA., April 27, 1863.
The major-general commanding directs that the Sixth Corps, Major-General Sedgwick, First Corps, Major-General Reynolds, and Third Corps, Major-General Sickles, put themselves in position to cross the river as follows: Sixth Corps at Franklin's Crossing; First Corps at the crossing below at Pollock's Mill Creek, and the Third Corps as a support to cross at either point. These movements to be made so that the respective corps are in position-the First and Sixth on or before 3.30 a.m. of the 29th, and the Third Corps on or before 4.30 a.m. of the 29th. The ambulances and trains to be parked in the rear, and concealed behind the range of hills visible to the enemy, and ready to move when desired.
The troops, as far as possible, ought to be concealed up to the moment the demonstration is made. Such batteries of the corps mentioned, and of the Reserve Artillery as are required, to be placed in position, under the direction of the chief of artillery, to cover the crossing. The orders of the chief of artillery for the necessary disposition of the batteries to carry out the purposes and plans of this movement will be complied with, and he will be charged with the responsibility of the duties intrusted to him. Trians will be loaded with supplies of forage and provisions, to include at least eight days' short forage for the animals. Whenever an opportunity occurs without interference, the supplies that have been consumed will be replaced. The troops will have the eight days' rations as heretofore provided in orders.
The bridges, two at each crossing, to be laid complete before 3.30 a.m. of the 29th, under the supervision of General Benham, who is charged with the responsibility thereof. Any troops needed to assist the Engineer Brigade in the performance of this duty will be furnished to General Benham, under the direction of General Sedgwick. General Sedgwick, pending the operation, will be charged with the command of the three corps mentioned, and will make a demonstration in full force on Wednesday morning upon the enemy's defenses, with a view of securing the Telegraph road. In the event of the enemy detaching any considerable part of his force on the Telegraph road, cutting off all communication by the enemy in order to prevent their turning his position on that road. In case the enemy should fall back on Richmond, he will pursue them with the utmost vigor, fighting them whenever and wherever he can come up with them. The major-general commanding suggests that a part of his force be thrown on the Bowling Green road, in case the enemy retire, and pursuit be made on both these lines. The columns, if they move with equal rapidity, will be within supporting distance, and should be required to march to each other's assistance as circumstances may require. The ammunition trains and ambulances will be held in readiness to move first.
General Sedgwick will give such further instructions as may seem to him necessary to carry out the plans and wishes of the major-general commanding.
By command of Major-General Hooker: