Burnside to the left of Wright. Wright and Burnside should then force their way up as close to the enemy as they can get without a general engagement, or with a general engagement if the enemy will come out of their works to fight, and intrench. Hancock should march and take up a position as if in support of the two left corps. To-morrow night at 12 or 1 o'clock, he will be moved southeast with all his force and as much cavalry as can be given him, to get as far toward Richmond on the line of the Fredericksburg railroad as he can make, fighting the enemy in whatever force he may find him. If the enemy make a general move to meet this, they will be followed by the other three corps of the army,and attacked if possible before time is given to intrench. Suitable directions will at once be given for all trains and surplus artillery to conform to this movement.
U. S. GRANT,
HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES,
Near Spotsylvania Court-House, May 18, 1864.
COMMANDING OFFICER CONFEDERATE FORCES,
Near Old Wilderness Tavern, Va:
SIR: To secure proper medical supplies and care for wounded soldiers who, I understand, are still left in your hospitals near Old Wilderness Tavern, I would request that all who are still in your hands be delivered to Assistant Surgeon Breneman, U. S. Army, who is authorized to receipt the rolls of the same. I will state that all Confederate wounded who have fallen into our hands are receiving good care and abundance of supplies of all descriptions. Such, however, as have not been sent beyond Fredericksburg will be delivered into your hands at Chancellorsville if you desire it.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
U. S. GRANT,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
OFFICE OF THE PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL.
May 18, 1864.
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: Prisoners of war from Daniel's brigade, of Rodes' division, taken last evening on the left of the enemy's line, state that Rodes' division was moved from the extreme left of the line a considerable distance to the right and rear last night after dark; that it was supposed our troops had been withdrawn from their front; that Hays' (Louisiana) brigade has been consolidated with Stafford's brigade (in Johnson's division), and a North Carolina brigade added to Early's division from Rodes'. This is Johnston's (North Carolina) brigade. Prisoners taken from the Sixty-first Georgia, Gordon's brigade, Early's division, this a.m., report that rations were issued night before last for two days. Think rations were issued last night, but got none, being out on picket.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEORGE H. SHARPE,
Colonel and Deputy Provost-Marshal-General.
55 R R-VOL XXXVI, PT II