War of the Rebellion: Serial 069 Page 0384 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter XLVIII.

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HEADQUARTERS NINTH ARMY CORPS,

May 31, 1864 - 11.05 p. m.

Major General W. S. HANCOCK:

GENERAL: Cannot the present left of General Owen remain? It is not a great way in advance of the position it was on this morning.

A. E. BURNSIDE,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

May 31, 1864 - 11.20 p. m.

Major-General HANCOCK:

Your dispatch of 11 p. m. received. The major-general commanding directs that you do not withdraw your line of battle unless absolutely compelled to do so. He suggests that you protect your flank be refusing your right.

A. A. HUMPHREYS,

Major-General and Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS SECOND ARMY CORPS,

May 31, 1864 - 11.35 p. m.

General HUMPHREYS:

Your instructions will be obeyed, but it will put my whole corps in a weak line; the two flanks being across the creek, and the center unable to cross, and with such an extended line, I cannot have any troops available for other purposes. The line I now hold is not of value, unless an assault is intended, and it is desired to mass troops close to the enemy. I can hold nearly the same ground, with skirmishers and artillery, from my old lines.

WINF'D S. HANCOCK,

Major-General.

The right of General Birney is over a half mile in front of the Hanover Court-House road.

CIRCULAR.] HEADQUARTERS SECOND ARMY CORPS,

May 31, 1864 - 7.45 a. m.

Division commanders will press forward their skirmishers up against the enemy, and ascertain whether any changes have taken place in their front. Reports will be made in writing of the results.

By command of Major-General Hancock:

FRANCIS A. WALKER,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

CIRCULAR.] HEADQUARTERS SECOND ARMY CORPS.

May 31, 1864 - 11.15 a. m.

The major-general commanding desires division commanders to press forward until they are satisfied they are stopped by something