to the left of the position now held by Warren's corps. Hancock's and Wright's corps will commence the attack, and Warren's corps will support batteries which will be established during the night. I want your to hold your command in readiness to move out of their present place at 3.30 in the morning, to move by the left flank, to follow up the two attacking corps and support them. If you move leave your pickets to remain until driven in or recalled. I will let you know in the evening if the attack is to be made. Send out some of your staff officers to reconnoiter the roads over which your will have to pass when you do move, and parties to make such repairs or new roads as may be required. My headquarters will be moved in the course of an hour or so to near the Anderson house.
U. S. GRANT,
P. S.-I have just received news from Sherman. On the 15th he had whipped J. Johnston with a loss of 3,000 men on our side. Sherman was then crossing the Oostenaula. Johnston has evidently given up.
U. S. G.
NEAR SPOTSYLVANIA COURT-HOUSE,
May 17, 1864.
Commanding Ninth Army Corps:
A reconnaissance of the ground over which it was intended to attack to-morrow morning proves the ground entirely impracticable to pass troops over. The attack, therefore, will not be made as ordered. In lieu of that, Hancock and Wright will move back during the night to the old position of the Seconds Corps and attack them at 4 a. m. in the morning. Warren will commence with his artillery, which is so placed as to enfilade the enemy's rifle-pits in your front; being prepared, however, to follow Hancock and Wright if they should succeed in breaking, or to strengthen Warren if the enemy should move on him.
U. S. GRANT,
CIRCULAR.] HEADQUARTERS NINTH ARMY CORPS,
May 17, 1864-6.20 p. m.
The following is the order of march for the pending movement of the Ninth Corps: The entire picket-line will be kept out until driven off or relieved. The senior officer of the day of divisions, major Bolton, Fifty-first Pennsylvania, will be in general command of the picket-line of all of the divisions, and Major Colburn, of Fifty-ninth Massachusetts, officer of the day of the First Division, and Major Wright, Fifty-first New York, officer of the day of the Second Division, will report to Major Bolton for instructions. Major Bolton's headquarters will be with the Fifty-first Pennsylvania, or just in rear. Major Wright should see that his picket-line connects with that of General Birney's division, and co-operate with the officers in charge in case they are driven in or withdrawn.