Second Corps absent, for some force must be left to hold our lines and protect our batteries. The withdrawal of the Fifth Corps would prevent any attempt on our part to silence the fire of the enemy's guns in front of the Fifth Corps, and unless these guns are silenced no advance can be made across the open ground in front of the Ninth Corps. It is not the numbers of the enemy which oppose our taking Petersburg; it is their artillery and their works which can be held by reduced numbers against direct assault. I have just sent you a dispatch indicating an attack on my left flank by the enemy. This in my weak point, and a formidable attack turning my flank would require all my force to meet successfully.
GEO. G. MEADE,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, July 26, 1864-4 p.m.
I forward you this telegram just received for what it is worth. Hancock is now moving. He leaves a part of our flank intrenchments on the left of Warren vacant, but I shall supply his place to-nigh with a division of Burnside's as soon as it is dark.
GEO. G. MEADE,
HEADQUARTERS FIFTH CORPS, July 26, 1864-3.30 p.m.
I forward the following just received:
HEADQUARTERS THIRD DIVISION, FIFTH ARMY CORPS, July 26, 1864.
A deserter has come in from the Fourteenth Alabama, Sanders' brigade, of Mahone's division. He states that McLaw's division, of Longstreet's corps, were under orders to go to Atlanta. They had three days' cooked rations yesterday. He also states that one of his commands heard General Mahone state that General Lee desired to know what force was in woods opposite his right, and that he, General Mahone, would find out before twenty-four hours. This man was in the previous attack on the Second Corps, and says that the force will come the same route, about the right of the Third Brigade, Third Division. The deserter says that General Lee has been along the lines several times lately; also that Early's troops are returning.
S. W. CRAWFORD,
I am prepared for any attempt.
G. K. WARREN,
CITY POINT, VA., July 26, 1864.
The enemy are again advancing down the Shenandoah Valley. They were last night north of Winchester. Hasten off the cavalry that goes to Washington under my recent order. If they can start to-morrow they may render great service.
U. S. GRANT,