War of the Rebellion: Serial 082 Page 0518 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LII.

Search Civil War Official Records

left flank. I therefore desire you will keep in view the contingency of holding your entrenchments with the minimum force, and being prepared to send any available movable force to the left and rear.




July 27, 1864-10 a. m.

Major-General MEADE:

I have received your dispatch in relation to our left. The preparations for the contingency you mention, and for the opposite one mentioned by General Humphreys last night, require nearly the same preliminary preparations. I will send by an orderly a report on my arrangements.



Major-General of Volunteers.


July 27, 1864.

Major-General HUMPHREYS,

Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: After careful study of my position, in view of the operations which I am to support in General Burnside's front, as well as the holding the left, both combine to convince me that I cannot well abandon any part of my line without giving up all of it, and that then the best co-operation I could afford with my artillery would be lost. The line as now fortified is pretty strong. I propose to make the following disposition of my troops:

First. General Crawford's division to hold from the plank road around the left. It is all position, though scarcely at present in contact with the enemy. It is 4,336 strong; one brigade in and around the large redoubt, one brigade (Baxter's) in and around the small redoubt, one brigade on picket. These are all available for the defense of the left, and in case we wished to attack on the front, Baxter's could be calculated upon being withdrawn.

Second. General griffin's division 4,979 strong, will, I think, by putting them all in one line, hold the front now occupied by it and a portion of General Ayres'.

Third. General Ayres' division 4,758 strong, will then all be in reserve either for attack or defense.

Fourth. General Cutler 1,959 strong, on the left of General Burnside, has a front so narrow as to have something over two lines of battle, the rear one of which, I think, can be withdrawn in the daytime. I propose to let this remain as a support to General Burnside, to be called away if needed to the left after our other reserves are exhausted. I probably can send 3,000 men to re-enforce our left when needed.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,