railroad on their side. I am putting skirmishers down to the brigade and ford, and we will see whether it appears possible for us to command their approaches. I am extending my troops across the railroad also.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WINF'D S. HANCOCK,
HEADQUARTERS SECOND ARMY CORPS,
Major 23, 1864-2.35 p. m.
Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:
SIR: I am now at Taylor's Brigade, where the enemy have epaulements and some batteries. My skirmishers are across, and I am just pushing them forward a short distance. I am planting batteries,to have a cover-fire, and if I think I can hold the crossing and establish a brigade-head, I will do so, although, as I have no orders to cross, I shall not do so unless it appears pretty plain. I am extending to the left across the railroad, my right resting in front of General Cutler's position (Fifth Corps Church), and am picketing the river.
The enemy appear to force, although I do not think he can prevent a crossing. I can hear the whistle of locomotives frequently on the Virginia Central. SA good many troops have been seen across the river, yet they appear to be marching down; therefore I have extended my left. I have no doubt a respectable force is holding my front, on account of the epaulements, &c., there, but whether they except to remain long enough to dispute the passage strongly i do not know yet. I have just received a dispatch from Warren, stating that his men are fording the river. The depot of the river seems to be no obstante. In position the enemy appear to the some advantage over me. Shall I force a crossing?
Your obedient servant,
WINF'D S. HANCOCK,
I have ordered Warren to cross his whole corps and intrench. Wright, I think, had better take position on this side, to support Warren. Shall Hancock force a crossing?
GEO. G. MEADE.
MAY 23, 1864 3 p. m.
By all means. I would have Warren cross all the men he can tonight, and intrench himself strongly. There is but little likelihood the that he will be pushed the enemy, and if he is he can be re-enforced or could fall back by the same road, as necessity might require.
U. S. GRANT,