War of the Rebellion: Serial 081 Page 0358 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA AND N.C. Chapter LII.

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HEADQUARTERS SIXTH ARMY CORPS,

June 23, 1864-7.30 p.m.

Major-General MEADE:

I will attack shortly from what may be considered my present right. The left toward the Williams house must stand fast.

H. G. WRIGHT.

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC.

June 23, 1864-7.35 p.m.

Major-General WRIGHT:

I have told you repeatedly I have no troops to send you beyond those sent. I have considered the matter serious from the first. I directed you to decide promptly, either to attack or to withdraw your left to the position of last night, extending from the Christian house to Strong's. Your delay has been fatal. If you do not promptly attack, or if you do, unless you meet with great success, you must withdraw after dark. The enemy may, however, before that time interpose, and it was to check his movements and not let him have it entirely his own way, that I have insisted on an attack. I will not blindly order you to do what you seem reluctant as a matter of judgment, but as I stated in my last you must be responsible for the consequences. You have had ample authority to sustain your attacking.

GEO. G. MEADE.

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS SIXTH ARMY CORPS.

June 23, 1864-8.50 p.m.

Major-General MEADE:

In answer to your last dispatch, in my judgment my best movement is to withdraw my troops to the position held last night, and shall commence the movement at once. Two divisions will be in line, one in reserve, and the troops from the Fifth Corps still farther to the left extending over the plank road. Since writing the above, your dispatch of 8.40* is received, and I still adhere to the above opinion. I have not seen Major Duane. Please advise me at once whether I shall follow my judgment. I was just giving the necessary orders for the withdrawal when I received your dispatch.

H. G. WRIGHT

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC.

June 23, 1864-9 p.m.

Major-General WRIGHT:

As you give me no data whatever on which to form any judgment, either as to the enemy, his position, or force, it is not possible for me to overrule your judgment; you can, therefore, withdraw; but you must prepare yourself to take the offensive to-morrow at early daylight, and

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*Not found.

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