Washington, but it is not fully assured yet that Early has left the Valley, and if Wright was to start back no doubt the Maryland raid would be repeated. I am not willing to attempt a movement so hazardous as the one against intrenched lines against the judgment of yourself and your engineer officers, and arrived at after a more careful survey of the ground than I have given it. I will let you know, however, in the morning what determination I come to.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
U. S. GRANT,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
July 26, 1864- 12 m.
Lieutenant General U. S. GRANT:
More critical examinations from a new signal station would lead to the conclusion that the enemy have detached works on the ridge in front of Burnside, but they have no connected line. This fact increases the chances of a successful assault, and taken in connection with the fact that General Burnside does not now think the enemy have discovered his mine, on the contrary believes they are laying the platforms for a battery right over it, I have suspended the order to load and discharge it to-morrow, as it may yet be useful in connection with further operations. I am afraid the appearance of McLaw's division, together with Wilcox's, previously reported, will prevent any chance of a surprise on the part of our people to-morrow. Yesterday's Richmond Examiner also says your strategic movements are known and preparations made to meet them, referring, I presume, to Foster's operations. There was considerable shelling, by the enemy yesterday afternoon all along our lines, brought on, I think, by Burnside's discovering a camp he head not before seen and ordering is shelled. No serious casualties were produced on our side, but the Fifth Corps working parties were very much annoyed and interrupted. with this exception all was quiet.
GEO. G. MEADE,
CITY POINT, July 26, 1864- 3 p.m.
The information you have just sent, and all information received on the subject, indicates a probability that the enemy are looking for a formidable attack either from General Burnside or north of the James River, and that they will detach from Petersburg heavily to prevent its success. This will make your remaining two corps with the Eighteenth relatively stronger against the enemy at Petersburg than we have been since the first day. It will be well, therefore, to prepare for an assault in General Burnside's front, only to be made if further development justifies it. If made, it would be necessary to abandon most of the front now held by the Fifth Corps.*
U. S. GRANT,
*For version of this dispatch, as recorder in Grant's letter-book, see Part III.