War of the Rebellion: Serial 069 Page 0407 Chapter XLVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

May 31, 1864-2.30 p. m.

Major-General BURNSIDE, Commanding Ninth Army Corps:

The major-general commanding directs me to say that General Gibbon reports his left much in advance of your line, and requests that it may be advanced to and keep pace with the line of the left of the Second Corps.

A. A. HUMPHREYS,

Major-General and Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS NINTH ARMY COPRS,

May 31, 1864-3.10 p. m.

General HUMPHREYS, Chief of Staff:

My line is engaged and advancing as rapidly as possible. General Gibbon is possibly mistaken in his report. If General Gibbon is advancing faster than we are, he has fewer obstacles in his front. The general commanding may be sure that we are doing all in our power; the nature of the ground renders is impossible to make the connection perfect. The line of skirmishers is perfect.

A. E. BURNSIDE,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS NINTH ARMY CORPS,

May 31, 1864-5.20 p. m.

Major-General HUMPHREYS, Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: I have carried what has been probably called the enemy's first line of works, which is nothing more than a line of detached rifle-pits. My main line occupied that line with skirmishers well in advance. A very strong line of the enemy's works has been developed in my immediate front, with artillery in position on either flank. Farther advance is impossible without bringing on a general engagement, which I do not understand is contemplated by the order. Connection with General Owen, Second Corps, is established, and he reports a like position of the enemy on his front. If it is desired that an attack be made, our lines are in condition to do so at short notice. Please answer at once, as the message has to be carried to me by an orderly, and it is desirable that the attack be made before sundown, if at all. Should no advance be made tonight, I propose to intrenche in my present position.

I am, general, your obedient servant,

A. E. BURNSIDE,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

May 31, 1864-6 p. m.

Major-General BURNSIDE, Commanding Ninth Corps:

Your dispatch of 5.20 p. m. is received. The commanding general does not intend that you should attack the enemy in his entrenched position. He approves your intention of entrenching.

A. A. HUMPRHEYS,

Major-General and Chief of Staff.