War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0482 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter XLVIII.

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Major-General BURNSIDE,

Commanding Ninth Army Corps:

GENERAL: The above is an official copy of the instructions furnished to Major-General Meade. Your orders are embraced therein, and you will govern yourself accordingly.

By command of Lieutenant-General Grant:


Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Near Old Wilderness Tavern, May 7, 1864-11.12 a. m. (Received a. m. 8th.)

Brigadier General M. C. MEIGS,

Quartermaster-General, U. S. Army:

We have fought for two days. The enemy is said to be retiring. Our wounded will number 10,000. It is determined to send them to Rappahannock Station, by Ely's Ford, to meet the cars. The commanding general will send a dispatch to War Department stating his wants. Let a construction party be sent out on the road at once, and have it followed by trains sufficient to take in the wounded, which should arrive at Rappahannock Station early to-morrow. I shall send in all empty wagons to return with grain. Please have 750,000 pounds grain sent out in the trains.


Brigadier General, Chief Quartermaster, Army of the Potomac.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, In the Field, Wilderness, May 7, 1864.

Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: I have respectfully to represent that arrangements have been made by which it is expected that over 7,000 of our wounded in the recent battle will reach the hospitals in Washington. The ambulance service has been most efficiently conducted, but from the character of the field and the lodgment of the enemy it has been impossible to bring away all the wounded. The stretcher-bearers have been wounded, as I am informed, in several instances. In view of our leaving this section, I have requested the Surgeon-General to forward battle-field supplies for 3,000 wounded for seven days, also that rations from the Commissary Department for 3,000 wounded for seven days, and such medical officers as the Surgeon-General could spare, be sent up, prepared to remain and be occupied in attention to the wounded for ten days if necessary. Supplies and officers should arrive with the train which is to be sent from Alexandria for the wounded, and reach this place in the return ambulances and wagons now being sent to Rappahannock.

I respectfully submit that if we leave this section, and are not withheld by military necessity, that corps commanders have authority to provide for collecting the wounded that remain, and having them receive necessary attention and supplies, and that the burial of the dead be also provided for by the proper department.

I am, general, with much respect, your obedient servant,


Surg., U. S. Army, Medical Director, Army of the Potomac.