War of the Rebellion: Serial 043 Page 0072 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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Hancock to assume command. A. P. Hill and Ewell are certainly concentrating; Longstreet's whereabouts I do not know. If he is not up to-morrow, I hope with the force I have concentrated to defeat Hill and Ewell. At any rate, I see no other course than to hazard a general battle. Circumstances during the night may alter this decision, of which I will try to advise you. I have telegraphed Couch that if he can threaten Ewell's rear from Harrisburg without endangering himself, to do so.

GEO. G. MEADE,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, PA.,

July 2, 1863-3 p. m. (Received July 3, 10. 20 a. m.)

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief:

I have concentrated my army at this place to-day. The Sixth Corps is just coming in, very much worn out, having been marching since 9 p. m. last night. The army is fatigued. I have to-day, up to this hour, awaited the attack of the enemy, I having a strong position for defensive. I am not determined, as yet, on attacking him till his position is more developed. He has been moving on both my flanks, apparently, but it is difficult to tell exactly his movements. I have delayed attacking, to allow the Sixth Corps and parts of other corps to reach this place and to rest the men.

Expecting a battle, I ordered all my trains to the rear. If not

attacked, and I can get any positive information of the position of the enemy which will justify me in so doing, I shall attack. If I find it hazardous to do so, or am satisfied the enemy is endeavoring to move to my rear and interpose between me and Washington, I shall fall back to my supplies at Westminster. I will endeavor to advise you as often as possible. In the engagement yesterday the enemy concentrated more rapidly than we could, and toward evening, owing to the superiority of numbers, compelled the Eleventh and First Corps to fall back from the town to the heights this side, on which I am now posted. I feel fully the responsibility resting upon me, but will endeavor to act with caution.

GEO. G. MEADE,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

July 2, 1863-8 p. m. (Received July 3, 5. 15 p. m.)

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief:

The enemy attacked me about 4 p. m. this day, and, after one of the severest contests of the war, was repulsed at all points. We have suffered considerably in killed and wounded. Among the former are Brigadier-Generals Paul and Zook, and among the wounded, Generals Sickles, Barlow, Graham, and Warren, slightly. We have taken a large number of prisoners. I shall remain in my present position to-morrow, but am not prepared to say, until better advised of the condition of the army, whether my operations will be of an offensive or defensive character.

GEO. G. MEADE,

Major-General.