War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0536 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N.C. Chapter XLVIII.

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CIRCULAR.] HDQRS. 2nd CORPS, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

May 8, 1864-4.40 [p.] m.

Commanders are directed to obstruct the approaches to their positions as much as possible by felling trees, &c. This does not apply to the Spotsylvania road, which will be left open.

By command of Major-General Hancock:

C. H. MORGAN,

Lieutenant-Colonel and Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS FIRST BRIGADE, FIRST DIVISION, May 8, 1864-4.15 p.m.

Colonel [MORGAN?]:

In reply to your dispatch of 3 p.m., I would state that the position I now hold is, one regiment on the right and one on the left of the road, on the same line that the brigade was on when you were here, the picket-line on the outer edge of the woods. I have already retired three regiments about one-half mile, near where the road comes in from the large open field on the right, with pickets well thrown out on my right. I sent 100 men over the Po River to reconnoiter. They have returned without loss, meeting only cavalry and artillery. A long column of infantry, artillery, and baggage train has been observed moving due south. A contraband boy, who has just come into my lines, states that it is Longstreet's corps, and that they were moving to Spotsylvania Court-House. He states further that Lomax's and Wheaton's [Wickham's] brigades of cavalry are opposite my position. These brigades, he states, were at Spotsylvania Court-House. Please direct me if I shall move farther to the rear or remain in the position I now occupy.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

NELSON A. MILES,

Colonel Sixty-first New York Vols., Commanding Brigade.

HEADQUARTERS SECOND CORPS, May 8, 1864.

General MOTT:

Colonel Beaver, One hundred and forty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers, is corps officer of the day. Colonel Egan, Fortieth New York, is assisting him in that duty. After you pass, they will commence collecting the regiments on picket and form a rear guard. Until that time, however, if anything transpires in your rear, form a rear guard on yourself. Three regiments of cavalry will follow the picket rear guard. If this cavalry officer is followed by any one having artillery, it would be well to let him have a gun, if he desires to use it. The greatest vigilance is required under the circumstances until our command gets fairly off. In view of a possible attack by a small force-it cannot be a large one, not larger than our own at the utmost-I have left an aide, Captain Miller, with the rear guard, to look after the matter. You will have to be very cautious in keeping your men closed up, in case the cavalry come down upon you. As you command the division in rear, the major-general commanding charges you with the supervision of the matter, if any difficulty arises with the rear guard or pickets.

By command of Major-General Hancock:

FRANCIS A. WALKER,

Assistant Adjutant-General.