War of the Rebellion: Serial 069 Page 0409 Chapter XLVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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CIRCULAR.] HEADQUARTERS NINTH ARMY CORPS,

Totopotomoy Creek, May 31, 1864.

Generals Potter and Willcox will at once take measures to advance their lines so as to connect (by the best line) on the left with the extreme advance of General Griffin's line of yesterday, and on the right with General Owen, of the Second Corps. It is believed that this line will be shorter than the one now occupied. General Crittenden will immediately take steps to relieve the remainder of General Griffin's division, or certainly all of it that he has troops for, and will report at once by a staff officer the present state of his line. General Warren represents that but one of General Griffin's brigades has been relieved, which I think is a mistake.

A. E. BURNSIDE,

Major-General.

HDQRS. SECOND DIVISION, NINTH ARMY CORPS,

May 31, 1864-1.45 p. m.

Major-General BURNSIDE,

Ninth Army Coprs:

GENERAL: I find the enemy very strongly posted on my left and center. Owing to the nature of the ground at that point, we cannot move forward a line of battle. My skirmishers report a continuous and regular line of rifle-pits in their front. Major Gilmour and two lieutenants of the Forty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers have just been badly wounded, and we have met with some considerable loss on that line. Colonel Griffin does not think it a safe place to advance a line, in which opinion I concur, as I have been over as much of the ground as it was possible to get over. I have ordered Griffin to try and make a connection with Second Corps by moving to the right. My skirmishers have been almost all the time in advance of those of the Second Corps, and my right very considerably advanced, but owing to the nature of the ground, a connection with their main line could not be maintained, unless I cut loose the rest of the corps.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ROBERT B. POTTER,

Brigadier-General.

HDQRS. SECOND DIVISION, NINTH ARMY CORPS,

May 31, 1864-5 p. m.

Major General A. E. BURNSIDE,

Commanding Ninth Army Corps:

GENERAL: I find that General Owen's (Second Corps) line is not at all in advance of mine. By extending to the right about the front of two regiments the connection of the main lines is complete. This I have ordered done, and is probably now executed. The skirmishers of neither force can be much, if any, advanced here, as we seem to be close up to what is the enemy's main work. General Owen describes it as very strong in his front. My men are exposed to fire of artillery from their left, as also from the right. The nature of the ground