War of the Rebellion: Serial 040 Page 0306 N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXVII.

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CAMP NEAR FALMOUTH, VA.,

April 30, 1863-8.30 a. m.

Major-General SEDGWICK,

Commanding Left Wing, Army of the Potomac:

I am directed by the major-general commanding to instruct you to make a demonstration on the enemy's lines in the direction of Hamilton's Crossing at 1 o'clock, the object being simply to ascertain whether or not the enemy continues to hug his defenses in full force; and if he should have abandoned them, to take possession of his works and the commanding ground int heir vicinity. In his opinion a corps should be used for this service, a portion of it advanced, while the balance is held in supporting distance, and your whole force held in readiness to spring o their relief should an effort be made to overpower them or to cut them off. This demonstration will be made for no other purpose than that stated. The enemy must not be attacked behind his defenses, if held in force. No train but that of a few ambulances should accompany the column. As soon as the required information is obtained, the column can return. Look well after the defenses of your bridge-heads during this movement.

If you are certain that the enemy is in full force in your front, I am instructed by the commanding general to say that the demonstration herein directed will not be made. The general must know the position of affairs and be advised fully; also as to what you do, at once.

The enemy have a pontoon train at Hamilton's. The general expects that you will not permit them to cross the river. When you move forward, if you want all your artillery, the batteries of the reserve here can be called for.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

CAMP NEAR FALMOUTH, VA.,

April 30, 1863.

Major-General SEDGWICK,

Commanding Left Wing, Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: I am directed by the major-general commanding to inform you that his headquarters will be at Chancellorsville to-night. It is proposed that the army now at that pint will assume the initiative to-morrow morning, and will advance along the line of the Plank road, uncovering what is called Banks' Ford, where bridges will be at once thrown across the river, which route will then become the shortest line of communication between the two wings of the army. Major-General Butterfield will remain at the present headquarters, and will at once transmit to the major-general commanding any communications you may desire to send him. It is not know, of course, what effect the advance will have upon the enemy, and the general commanding directs that you observe his movements with the utmost vigilance, and, should he expose a weak point, attack him in full force and destroy him. If he should show any symptoms of falling back, the general directs that you throw your whole force on the Bowling Green road, and pursue him with the utmost vigor, tuning his fortified positions by the numerous by-roads which you can make use of for that purpose. If any portion of his organized forces should pass off to the east of the railroad, you will, by detachments, pursue until you destroy or capture him.