HEADQUARTERS NINTH ARMY CORPS, May 24, 1864-6.45 p.m.
GENERAL: In accordance with your instructions I commenced movements with a view to throwing the entire corps on the south side of the river and making a junction in front of the position opposite to General Willcox. General Crittenden's division was thrown across the river just above General Willcox. I described the ford to you in a former note. Since I wrote you General Crawford reports that the enemy's line of skirmishers has cut off his communication with General Warren, and General Crittenden has not been able to form a junction with General Potter, who was thrown across over Hanckock's bridge. They are both at work now to effect this object. General Crittenden has had quite a sharp fight and met with quite a loss; the amount is not yet known. His aide represents that the enemy were repulsed, and he has sent in some 10 to 20 prisoners. Inasmuch as neither General Crawford nor General Crittenden have any artillery I feel quite anxious about their position, and have therefore directed a bridge capable of passing artillery and infantry to be built, and have taken the responsibility of retaining General Willcox on this side of the river. I shall move my own headquarters to the south side in a few minutes, near to those of General Hancock, unless something should occur to detain me here on this side, in which case I will notify you. I hope the course I have pursued will meet your approbation. I am pretty well satisfied the enemy's works are such as I indicated to Colonel Comstock this morning.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. E. BURNSIDE,
HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES, Jericho Ford, Va., May 24, 1864-8.20 p.m.
Commanding Ninth Corps:
GENERAL: The situation of the enemy appearing so different from what I expected, I do not deem it advisable for you to move your wagon train to the south side of the river to-night, or not any more of it than may now be on the south side. The enemy holding the south bank of the river at Ox Ford, I think it important that you should hold the north side of the same place. You will, therefore, leave at least a battery, supported by a regiment of infantry, well stationed for that purpose. I understand you are moving two divisions to connect with Hancock, and one above Ox Ford to connect with Warren. This will be the best arrangement that can be adopted, and if it is not already carried out you will carry it out at once. Bridges will be laid above and below the point on the river held by the enemy, and as near to it as possible, to-morrow morning, and roads opened between them, so as to bring our right and left as near supporting distance as possible. The only portion of this work you will be charged with will be opening the road near the river between the two bridges. The upper bridge will be laid near Quarles' Mills. The place for the lower one cannot be determined to-night. It may