HEADQUARTERS SECOND CORPS,
July 28, 1864-7 a.m. (Received 8.20 a.m.)
GENERAL: The last of General Butler's brigade has just crossed. The cavalry will make a demonstration to the enemy's left and then the enemy's flank, if practicable. If you desire me to make a vigorous attempt in this direction with my command, at the risk of losing the line I hold in front of Bailey's Creek, please advise me to this effect. My operations yesterday developed the enemy's line to the extent of, say, two miles and a half and they were found very strongly posted, well intrenched, and the rifle-pits, filled to their greatest capacity in the evening. It is evident, therefore, to make my movement of formidable one, I should have more troops than I will have available. After holding the line I now occupy I can extend to the right until I find the enemy's left; but in order to make a vigorous attack when the left is found I shall have to withdraw nearly all of my left, which might result in the enemy reoccupying the line from which I drove them yesterday, and thus cutting my command from Deep Bottom. It was found yesterday that all the Richmond roads were held by intrenched lines, unless it may be the Charles City road-that is, the cavalry will probably have to take that road, which is well out. I would like to have your wishes as to whether this turning movement shall be made with my whole force of infantry, or whether I shall be responsible for the connection with Deep Bottom. Is the turning movement an absolute one, or am I to make the movement at my discretion, as the cavalry may determine the enemy's left? I ask particularly because your dispatch seems to demand more than General Grant's.
WINF'D S. HANCOCK,
(Copy to General Rawlins.)
JULY 28. 1864-8 a.m. (Received 8.30 a.m.)
General Birge's brigade of 2,600 men reached here at 6 o'clock, the last of the column crossing at 7.15.
WINF'D S. HANCOCK.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC.
July 28, 1864-8.30 a.m. (Received 9.10 a.m.)
Your dispatch of 7 a.m. just received. You have misunderstood my telegram. I had no instructions to give you, and did not intend to give you any beyond what were contained in the dispatches of the lieutenant-general commanding. You will carry out his views to the best of your ability, in accordance with you judgment and as circumstances may seem best. It is impossible for me at this distance, and in ignorance of the ground and position of your troops, to give you detailed orders. Your dispatch will be transmitted to the lieutenant-general commanding.
GEO. G. MEADE,