ORDERS.] HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, July 9, 1864.
1. The operations of this army against the intrenched position of the enemy defending Petersburg will be by regular approaches on the fronts opposed to General Burnside's and General Warren's corps.
2. The siege-works will be constructed under the direction of the acting chief engineer of the army (Major J. C. Duane, Corps of Engineers), upon plans prepared by him and approved by the commanding general. Those plans that relate to the employment of the artillery will be prepared jointly by the acting chief engineer and the chief of artillery of the army, General H. J. Hunt, U. S. Volunteers.
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By command of Major-General Meade:
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, July 10, 1864.
In conformity with instructions contained in paragraph 2 of orders dated July 9, we submit the following plan for the operations against the enemy's works in front of the line occupied by this army:
First. The lines of the enemy being in front of the crest that overlooks Petersburg, the object to be attained is the possession of this crest, which will probably decide the fate of Petersburg.
Second. The general direction of the enemy's line from opposite the right of the Ninth Corps to the left of the Fifth Corps is north and south; opposite the left of the Fifth Corps, near the plank or Jerusalem road, the line turns to the west, forming an angle with the first, somewhat greater than a right angle.
Third. The line is indented, and thus affords to a certain extent flank defenses. At intervals batteries are placed, which may be increased in number almost at will. At certain points, and notably at the angle and to the west of and near the plank road, there are strong redoubts prepared for guns, and beyond the line the ground is favorable for the construction by the enemy of interior retrenchments.
Fourth. The salient, formed by the redoubt at the angle of the enemy's line, flanks that part of the line in front of the Ninth Corps. Its distance from he lines of the Fifth Corps varies from 400 to 800 yards. From this salient to the redoubt southwest of it, some 500 yards, the works face a space of apparently smooth open plain. Between the Fifth Corps and the salient a ravine commences, which, rapidly deepening, becomes quite deep in front of the Ninth Corps, which had passed it at open point and effected a lodgment within about 150 yards of the enemy's line and immediately in front of one of his batteries. Toward this General Burnside is running a mine, with the intention of destroying the battery and immediately assaulting the works, and if possible gaining the crest overlooking Petersburg.
Fifth. To render an assault successful, it is necessary to destroy the obstructions, abatis, palisades, &c., in front of this line, to silence, if practicable, the guns, and especially to capture or effectually silence the redoubt at the salient of the enemy's line, which not only flanks that line, but sweeps the ground on which the supports to the assaulting columns must pass.