War of the Rebellion: Serial 080 Page 0146 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LII.

Search Civil War Official Records

exaggerated. I will send report by messenger. The order to retreat caused great confusion, and we have lost largely in prisoners. General Ord's men on our line were not relieved.

A. E. BURNSIDE,

Major-General.

18 3/4.

NINTH CORPS,

July 31, 1864-6.40 p.m.

Major-General HUMPHREYS:

The loss in this corps, in the engagement of yesterday, amounts to about 4,500, the great proportion of which was made after the brigade commanders in the crater were made aware of the order to withdraw.

A. E. BURNSIDE,

Major-General.

19.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

July 31, 1864-7.20 p.m.

Major-General BURNSIDE,

Commanding Ninth Corps:

Your dispatch relative to the loss in your corps yesterday is received. The commanding general requests that you will explain the meaning of the latter part of the dispatch, and again reminds you that he has received no report whatever from you of what occurred after 11 a.m. yesterday.

A. A. HUMPHREYS,

Major-General and Chief of Staff.

19 1/4.

NINTH CORPS,

July 31, 1864. (Received 9.10 p.m.)

Major-General HUMPHREYS,

Chief of Staff:

Your dispatch of 7.20 p.m. received. Just before the order for withdrawal was sent in to the brigade commanders in the crater the enemy made an attack upon our forces there and were repulsed with very severe loss to the assaulting column. The order for withdrawal, leaving the time and manner of the execution thereof to the brigade commanders on the spot, was then sent in, and while they were making arrangements to carry out the order the enemy advanced another column of attack. The officers knowing they were not to be supported by other troops, and that a withdrawal was determined, ordered the men to retire at once to our old line. It was in this withdrawal and consequent upon it that our chief loss was made. In view of the want of confidence in their situation, and the certainty of no support consequent upon the receipt of such an order, of whose moral effects the general commanding cannot be ignorant, I am at a loss to know why the latter part of my dispatch requires explanation.

A. E. BURNSIDE,

Major-General.