HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, July 3, 1864.
Brigadier General H. J. HUNT,
Chief of Artillery:
The lieutenant-general commanding is desirous of knowing whether any offensive operations from the lines now held by this army are practicable.
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Major-General Burnside, who is now running a gallery for a mine, is of the opinion that if successful in this operation an assault could be made to advantage. I desire you to carefully examine the proposed point of attack, after conferring with General Burnside, and furnish me with your views.
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You will please give me your views at the earliest possible moment, that the necessary orders may be issued and requisitions made. Both Generals Warren and Burnside have been notified of your instructions and directed to confer with you and facilitate your operations.
GEO. G. MEADE,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, July 6, 1864.
Chief of Staff:
SIR: We have the honor to make the following report of an examination of the enemy's lines in front of the Fifth and Ninth Corps in compliance with instructions of the commanding general given in a letter dated July 3:
The general direction of the enemy's line from the front of the Hare house to the plank road is north and south. The line is indented and apparently well flanked. From the plank road the line runs in a southwesterly direction. The salient thus formed is on a commanding ridge, which overlooks and flanks, by the artillery fire, the work in front of the Ninth Corps. It would, therefore, appear that the first attack should be made from the front of the Fifth Corps. When the first line of the enemy's works at this point has been taken or their fire silenced, the attack by the Ninth Corps may be commenced. The enemy's front had been very much strengthened. It consists of a system of redoubts connected by infantry parapets; the ground in front obstructed by abatis, stakes, and entanglements, rendering an assault impracticable; regular approached must, therefore, be resorted to. It is probable that the siege will be a long one, inasmuch as soon as one line of works is carried another equally strong will be found behind it, and this will continue until ridge is attained which looks into the town.
HENRY J. HUNT,
Brigadier-General, Chief of Artillery.
J. C. DUANE,
Major of Engineers.