War of the Rebellion: Serial 069 Page 0414 Chapter XLVIII. OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C.

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HDQRS. THIRD CAVALRY DIVISION CAVALRY CORPS,

Hanover Court-House, Va., May 31, 1864-11 p. m.

Major General A. A. HUMPHREYS,

Chief of Staff, Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: I regret exceedingly not having received your communications of this evening at an earlier hour. I also regret not having received the original order directing me to destroy the railroads. I have fully explained all I know concerning the order revoking it to the staff officer sent me this evening. He arrived at nearly 7 p. m. followed shortly after by Captain Ulffers, and, though the enemy had begun a demonstration against me, I moved forward at once on the road to Hanover Court-House, and after a very sharp fight drove the enemy from a very strong position on the north side of Mechaup's Creek, and though Hanover Court-House, taking some prisoners and killing quite a number. The rebels were commanded in person by General Young, and were probably his brigade, and two pieces of artillery. It was after 9 o'clock when the action ceased. My men were fatigued from their fighting to-day, and ammunition exhausted. I have therefore concluded to halt for the night, recruit men and horses, get ammunition and provisions, so as to push out at the first dawn of day. I shall leave two regimens to patrol from the right of the army to the river.

Having no appliances for the destruction of bridges, would it not be well to send me a half dozen barrels of powder and some slow match? If you do so, it should be here before 3.30 a. m. My officers and men have behaved with great gallantry this afternoon. Colonel McIntosh deserves promotion as one of the most competent brigade commanders in the army.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. H. WILSON,

Brigadier-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES,

Near Haw's Shop, May 31, 1864.

Brigadier General J. J. ABERCROMBIE,

Commanding U. S. Froces, White House, Va.:

GENERAL: I have no special directions for you at present, further than to say that you will forward all re-enforcements for this army as rapidly as possible; give every facility for the loading of trains for supplies, and, when it is practicable, send re-enfocements along to guard the trains. I want all stragglers who go to the rear apprehended and sent back under guard to the provost-marshal-general, General Patrick. When commissioned officers are so apprehended, cause their buttons and shoulder-straps to be publicly cut from their coats, and send them with their hands bound here for trial.

Very respectfully,

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

PORT ROYAL, May 31, 1864-7.30 a. m.

(Received 9 a. m.)

Major-General HALLECK, Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: Everything that is to go the front from here is now en route. The infirm unable to march are being embarked for