War of the Rebellion: Serial 069 Page 0297 Chapter XLVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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Shelton's, in the center, and the creek. We have from the crest of this field near Shelton's a somewhat more elevated position than the enemy. They have epaulements for their guns, and two lines of rifle-pits as afar as can be seen.

The banks of the creek, except at the crossing, are steep and abrupt, but not very high at the crossing, and indeed along there appears to be no obstacle to crossing owing to the stream; the high bluff and the enemy's guns apparently being the only obstacles. The enemy's troops did not attempt to conceal themselves. I should there was a brigade there; from the smoke of fires some distance back, it appeared as if there were many troops there right and left. Our whole open space is swept by their artillery back to the Cold Harbor and Hanover Court-House road, where their shells fall. We can put batteries on that plain within 600 or 800 yards of them. The movements of the corps, to unite, ought to be made at the earliest hour; for if the enemy choose to cross and attack our isolated commands, it looks to me as if it could easily be done; the country is very open.

I placed Birney in line with Barlow; Barlow covering the road to Cold Harbor, and Birney that to Hanover Court-House. The lines of battle connect on the Richmond road. The enemy are working. They have some abatis about the crossing, it is so reported. They have at some points skirmishers on this side of the creek. I have ordered them to be driven back, wherever found in my neighborhood. cavalry might to-night connect the corps, driving the enemy's cavalry and skirmishers across the stream. I shall direct epaulements for the batteries to be placed to-night within 600 or 800 yards of the enemy's, connected by rifle-pits, as far as possible, in the darkness.




May 29, 1864-9.30 [p. m.]

Major-General HANCOCK:

The major-general commanding direct me to say that as General Warren's whole corps will be on the south side of the Totopotomoy, you should have two divisions on General Barlow's left, and but one on his right. General Wright is ordered to make connections with you on the right, moving at daylight.


Major-General and Chief of Staff.


May 29, 1864.

General MEADE:

GENERAL: I have but three divisions; one is now on the right of the Richmond road, and one on left. The other I ordered to mass in rear, but will place on the left, in accordance with the tenor of your dispatch.


Major-General of Volunteers.

A negro tells me to-night that the stream in my front is called Swift Run; the white people tell me it is the Totopotomoy.