and send out reconnoitering parties to find out a route for his corps [which you will follow], avoiding the roads from Anderson's Tavern to the Junction or to Taylorsville, which shall cover the South Anna near the mouth of Stag Creek.
A. A. HUMPHREYS,
Major-General, Chief of Staff.
The brigade of General Ricketts' division and the picket force on the Chilesburg road will follow the trains.
By command of Major-General Wright:
M. T. McMAHON,
ORDERS.] HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, SIXTH CORPS, May 24, 1864.
This division will move at once, following the Second Division, crossing the river. Order of march: Second Brigade, Fourth Brigade, First Brigade, Third Brigade.
By command of Brigadier-General Russell:
HENRY R. DALTON,
HEADQUARTERS NINTH ARMY CORPS, Plain View, May 24, 1864-6.30 a.m.
GENERAL: Your dispatch of last night was received, after which the necessary orders were given. I proceeded before daylight to General Hancock's, to arrange with him as to the disposition of my forces. He is of the opinion that a demonstration in my front would be of more service to him than the re-enforcements I could send him. I then left General Potter's division to his disposal, and went to the position occupied by General Willcox, in front of Ox Ford, as soon as it was light enough to reconnoiter the position, and have arranged for an effort to carry the ford by the other two divisions of the Ninth Corps. The prospects of success are not at all flattering, but I think the attempt can be made without any very disastrous results, and we may possibly succeed. We did not get into the position last night until after night-fall, so that we knew nothing of the nature of the ground, and it would have been impossible to make an intelligent attack at daylight. The enemy's side of the river is densely wooded along its bank, with high ground in rear, with one battery in position, flanked by rifle-pits, and it is reported that there is another line of rifle-pits in front. The ford is said to be about knee-deep. The men are now being placed in the woods, and in a few minutes we shall have eighteen guns bearing on the enemy's battery.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. E. BURNSIDE,