HEADQUARTERS NINTH ARMY CORPS, May 24, 1864-10.20 p.m.
GENERAL: Your dispatch of 9.20 is just received. I intend to have sent General Willcox across the river this evening, but just at dark I learned of quite a serious repulse of a portion of General Crittenden's force, that had crossed the river at the upper ford to join General Crawford. This force attempted to come down on the opposite side to connect with General Potter. They got close down to the enemy's works and the battery, when they were met by an overwhelming force and driven back with a loss of some 600 killed, wounded, and missing. As it now stands, Generals Crittenden and Crawford are cut off from both you and Warren, and also from this side of the river, except by a deep rocky ford.
A. E. BURNSIDE,
HEADQUARTERS SECOND CORPS, May 24, 1864.
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: The latest information I have leads me to believe that a large force, if not the whole of Lee's army, i in our front. I have advanced my lines considerably to-day, especially on the left, which rests near Doswell's house. General Gibbon had quite an engagement to maintain the position. My left rests nearly on the river, which bends considerably to the right. I proposed to attack to-night, but the line I advanced developed such a strong position that the division commander [Barlow], doubtful of his ability to carry it, and General Gibbon, desired assistance at the same time. I am entrenching my advanced position, which is in close proximity to their entrenched line. General Burnside ought to hold from my right to the river to cover the bridge. My right extends, say, 300 yards west of the Telegraph road.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WINF'D S. HANCOCK,
Major-General of Volunteers.
I have directed General Burnside to retain Willcox where he is [on north side of the river, covering Ox Ford] for the night, and to get his bridge over to Crittenden and Crawford. Potter's division is now with Hancock, and he can direct him as he may deem best.
U. S. GRANT.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, May 24, 1864-11.15 p.m.
Commanding Second Corps:
The major-general commanding directs me to say that he does not expect you to do more than intrench in your present position, and hold it against the enemy. General Potter's division is under your orders, and will form your right flank. General Warren is directed