War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0654 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA AND N. C. Chapter XLVIII.

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Washington City, May 12, 1864.

Major General GEORGE G. MEADE,

Commanding Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: This Department congratulates you and your heroic army, and returns its cordial thanks for their gallant achieve meats during the last seven days, and hopes that the valor and skill thus far manifested will be crowned with the fruits of ultimate and decisive victory. Major-General Wright has been nominated, and will be confirmed to-day by the Senate, as a major-general in the place of General Sedgwick. I am informed that all of the other pending nominations for officers in your command will also be confirmed to-day. The sad casualties that have befallen the officers of your army leave many vacancies to be field, and if you will send me the names of the persons you desire to have appointed to the rank of brigadier, their nominations will be immediately sent to the Senate.

I beg to suggest that on the first occasion that may offer for a flag of truce, every effort be made to recover the remains of the gallant General Wadsworth, which are understood to be still in the hands of the enemy, and those of any other officers who may be in a like situation.

trusting that Divine Providence may have you in His keeping, in the midst of the dangers that now surround you, I remain,

Truly, yours,


Secretary of War.

[Memorandum of answer.]

I have the honor to acknowledge your kind letter of congratulation, and on behalf of this army to return you my thanks for the same. I have communicated to the army the light appreciation entertained by the department of its services, and I feel confident this appreciation will prove a great incentive to future exertions. I shall avail myself of your generous offer to promote deserving officers, and will, so soon as I can confer with corps commanders, present a list of names for your action.



May 12, 1864.

General GRANT:

Warren seems reluctant to assault. I have ordered him at all hazards to do so, and if his attack should be repulsed to draw in the right and send his troops as fast as possible to Wright and Hancock. Tell Hancock to hold on.



MAY 12, 1864 - 10.40 a. m.

Major-General MEADE:

If Warren fails to attack promptly, send Humphreys to command his corps, and relieve him. I have ordered Burnside to push on vigorously, and to send a division to Hancock.