Commanding Ninth Corps.:
The major-general commanding directs me to say that it was intended to act on the defensive, but he is quite ready to hear whatever you may have to propose.
A. A. HUMPHREYS,
Major-General and Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS NINTH ARMY CORPS,
June 21, 1864. (Received 11 p. m.)
Commanding Army of the Potomac:
GENERAL: The colored division forms the second line on our front. From an inspection of the ground [in front of General Potter] I am pretty well satisfied that General Ferrero can mass his troops along our picket-line on this front, and at a given hour in the morning make a charge which will result in breaking the enemy's line, and if the movement can be followed up by the other parts of the line of the army we would have a fair chance of driving the enemy across the river. General Potter has built a covered way to our main line. Three o'clock would be a proper hour to charge.
A. E. BURNSIDE,
P. S. -This dispatch was written to go by telegraph, but the communication being interrupted, it is sent by an orderly.*
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
June 21, 1864-11.30 p. m. (Sent 11.40 p. m.)
Major General A. E. BURNSIDE,
Commanding Ninth Corps:
Your dispatch received and will be considered. The time proposed does not admit of simultaneous attacks from other parts of the line.
GEO. G. MEADE,
[JUNE 21, 1864. -For Sheridan to Humphreys, relating to operations of cavalry on north side of the James, see Vol. XXXVI, Part III, p. 787.]
*The dispatch as telegraphed at 11.15 p. m. has the following addition:
"This dispatch was written soon after 9 o'clock. I has been delayed so long by the breaking of communication that I fear it will be too late to make the movement. We can try it if you think it desirable. It will stand good for to-morrow night.
A. E. B."