War of the Rebellion: Serial 081 Page 0346 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LII.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

June 23, 1864-11 p.m.

Major-General WARREN:

Your two brigades will be returned to you to-morrow morning. They are now on the plank road by the Williams house, about one mile and a half in rear of Griffin's left.

GEO. G. MEADE,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS FIFTH ARMY CORPS,

June 23, 1864.

Major-General MEADE:

I feel much gratified with the consideration you given my suggestions.* I see the plan has the risks and objections you point out. We can increase the supply of provisions perhaps a little, and also starve a day or so if necessary. If General Lee moves out on our rear we can face about at once and give him battle. All our efforts are attended with such great difficulties that I believe no one can regard any future operations, viewed in the light of our experience in this campaign, with anything but the deepest anxiety and solicitude. And I venture to say that officers and men are getting very weary and nervous.

I don't think the country appreciates our very trying condition. With our unparalleled losses and exhausting efforts we can scarcely say we are much nearer destroying Lee's army than when we were on the Rapidan. Before that is consummated we must make some decisive movement, in which, throwing all our weight in the battle, we are willing to run the risk of losing all by a failure-fight the Wilderness battle over again. I more fear Lee attacking our weakened lines than anything else. We cannot essentially strengthen them unless we move far enough to the rear to be out of musketry fire, which is constant along my whole front, and where the lines are so close it does not give our artillery sufficient play for a good defense. If we invent the place I would construct strong redoubts in rear of our present lines, at good supporting intervals of each other, and take time to do it.

Respectfully,

G. K. WARREN,

Major-General of Volunteers.

CIRCULAR.] HEADQUARTERS FIFTH ARMY CORPS,

June 23, 1864.

Hereafter in the formation of lines in front of the enemy, at least one-third of the strength of each division will be held in reserve, and the rest so disposed that all parts of the line shall be occupied in the best manner the numbers will permit, regard being had to the facilities for defense, obstacles to the enemy's attack, and ability to re-enforce. The reserves will be held to re-enforce any point needing it.

By command of Major-General Warren:

FRED. T. LOCKE,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

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*See inclosure Numbers 2 (Meade to Warren), June 23, 2.10 p.m., p. 333.

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