I know you were solicitous about the herd instructing me to look well to its safety, which I endeavored to do. The cattle were thriving and healthy, and, as I thought, safe up to the hour of their complete capture by the enemy.
I remain, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
N. A. RICHARDSON,
Captain, Volunteer Commissary of Subsistence.
Captain J. H. WOODWARD,
Commissary of Subsistence, in Charge General Cattle Herd, Armies operating Against Richmond.
No. 5. Reports of Major General George G. Meade, U. S. Army, commanding Army of the Potomac.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
November 1, 1864.
Early in August two divisions of cavalry, under Major-General Sheridan, were sent to Washington.
On the 14th of August Major-General hancock, commanding Second Corps, Gregg's division of cavalry, and a detachment of troops of the Department of Virginia and North Carolina, under Major-General Birney, crossed the James River at Deep Bottom, attacking the enemy in position. Birney carried the lines in front of him, capturing 6 pieces of artillery, 4 colors, and many prisoners. Barlow's attack with part of the Second Corps was not so successful.
On the 15th Hancock maneuvered to the right, to develop the enemy's position and select a point of attack.
On the 16th an attack was again made with partial success, Gregg on the Charles City road driving the enemy's cavalry as far as White's Tavern, where he met a superior force of infantry, compelling him to retire to Deep Creek. In these engagements Generals Chambliss and Girardey, of the Confederate Army, were killed.
The 17th and 18th, and 19th were spent by Hancock in continual skirmishing, constantly threatening the enemy, but finding him too strongly posted to justify an attack.
On the 20th Hancock was withdrawn, having previously sent Mott's division to Petersburg.
During these operations of Hancock on the north side of the James, advantage was taken of the weakening of the enemy's line south of the Appomattox to effect a lodgment on the Weldon railroad. For this purpose the Fifth Corps, having been previously withdrawn from the lines, its place being supplied by an extension of the Ninth, Warren moved on the 18th, and by a detour to the rear, struck the Weldon railroad near the Globe Tavern without much opposition, except from a small force of the enemy's cavalry. On advancing up the road, however, toward Petersburg, he was met by a considerable force of the enemy, who attacked him, but after a sharp fight were repulsed. In
* For portions of report (here omitted), see Vol. XXXVI, Part I, p. 188, and Vol. XL, Part I, p. 167.