War of the Rebellion: Serial 081 Page 0624 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LII.

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HEADQUARTERS FIFTH ARMY CORPS, July 4, 1864.

Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General:

All quiet in my front during the night. General Ayres (Second Division) advanced his picket-line without creating any disturbance.

G. K. WARREN,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS FIFTH ARMY CORPS, July 4, 1864 - 9.30 a. m.

Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General:

Two men for Second Georgia Battalion, Wright's brigade, Anderson's division, Hill's corps, straggled into our lines last night and were taken by Griffin's men. They will be sent up at once. The advance of Ayres' pickets was but a short distance. They merely took possession of some old rifle-pits of the enemy by my orders.

G. K. WARREN,

Major-General, Commanding.

JULY 4, 1864.

General MEADE:

I have seen General Barnard this morning and he talks as if he thought we could carry the enemy's line along the plank road. I feel all the more interested in having the subject considered by competent officers in staff positions, so that the opinion can rest on mere military grounds and not hereafter be a question of individual willingness, ability, or boldness.

G. K. WARREN.

HEADQUARTERS FIFTH ARMY CORPS, July 4, 1864 - 11 a. m.

Major General GEORGE G. MEADE:

GENERAL: I have just seen General Hunt and Major Duane and a copy of their "official" instructions, which says:

The lieutenant-general commanding is desirous of knowing whether any offensive operations from the lines nw held by this army are practicable. Major-General Warren does not deem any practicable in his front, but Major-General Burnside, who is now running a gallery for a mine, is of the opinion that is successful in this operation an assault could be made to advantage.

I am sorry to be troublesome, but fear to let this statement of my opinion stand as it appears above. If it were only between us of common military interest I would not mind it, but in the hands of those unfriendly to me hereafter it may be made a source of injury and unhappiness. My opinion was given to you in answer to a "confidential" communication and I intended it to be confidential; besides, the lieutenant-general's question was: "Is it possible by a bold and decisive attack to break through the enemy's center, say, on Warren's front?" The possibility, of course, could only be settled by trial. My opinion was