War of the Rebellion: Serial 080 Page 0133 Chapter LII. THE RICHMOND CAMPAIGN.

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F.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

July 26, 1864-5.30 p.m.

Lieutenant General U. S. GRANT:

Telegram, 3 p.m., received. The only preparation that can be made is the loading of Burnside's mine. I cannot advise an assault with the Second Corps absent, for some force must be left to hold our lines and protect our batteries. The withdrawal of the Fifth Corps would prevent any attempt on our part to silence the fire of the enemy's guns in front of the Fifth Corps, and unless these guns are silenced no advance can be made across the open ground in front of the Ninth Corps. It is not the numbers of the enemy which oppose our taking Petersburg; it is their artillery and their works which can be held by reduced numbers against direct assault. I have just sent you a dispatch indicating an attack on my left flank by the enemy. This is my weak point, and a formidable attack turning my flank, would require all my force to meet successfully.

GEO. G. MEADE,

Major-General.

G.

CITY POINT, July 28, 1864-12.20 p.m.

Major-General MEADE:

Your dispatch of 12 m. received. Unless something turns up north of the James between this and night that I do not expect, you may withdraw Hancock, to be followed by Sheridan, and make arrangements for assault as soon as it can be made. We can determine by the movements of the enemy before the time comes whether it will be advisable to go on with the assault. I will put in the Eighteenth Corps or not, as you deem best.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

H.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

July 28, 1864- 1 p.m.

Lieutenant-General GRANT:

Your dispatch of 12.20 received. On reflection, I think daylight of the 30th is the earliest time it would be advisable to make the assault. Besides the time required to get up heavy guns and mortars we require the night to make certain preliminary arrangements, such as massing troops, removing abatis from the debouche of the assaulting column, &c. I shall make the assault with the Ninth Corps, supported by the Second. The reserves of the Eighteenth should be held, in readiness to take part and if developments justify it all of Ord's and Warren's commands can be put in.

GEO. G. MEADE,

Major-General.