and a brigade of infantry, with a battery of artillery, was sent to Prince George Court-House to report to him. At the same time orders were dispatched to Brigadier-General Davies, commanding Second Cavalry Division, to move down the Jerusalem plank road with all his available force without waiting to draw in detachments or pickets, and to attack the enemy as soon as met. I forward herewith the report of General Davies,* giving in detail the movements of his own command, and that of General Kautz,* and the result of their efforts to recover the cattle, which, I regret to say, amounted to the securing only 50 head of the 2,480 lost. I desire to call attention to the fact reported by Brigadier-General Davies that in this emergency he was enabled to collect for this operation only 2,100 men of his own division and 700 of Kautz's, whereas the enemy had for the covering of the withdrawal of the herd not less than three brigades of cavalry, estimated at 6,000 men, and undoubtedly supported, when near the Nottoway River and the Weldon railroad, by infantry. Brigadier-Generals Davies and Kautz were prompt in their movements, but the inferiority of their forces, and the facility for rapidly withdrawing afforded the enemy by the location of the herd, gave the latter advantages which it was impossible for these officers to overcome.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. G. MEADE,
Lieutenant Colonel T. S. BOWERS,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
October 28, 1864.
COLONEL: In accordance with the orders of the lieutenant-general commanding, such portions of this army not required to hold the entrenched lines, moved yesterday morning before daylight with the intention of extending their lines, if practicable, to the South Side Railroad. The forces move din three columns-the Ninth Corps on the road to Hawk's; the Second Corps down the Vaughan road to hatcher's Run, and the Fifth Corps on aline intermediate between the other two, parts of which had to be opened. Major-General parke was instructed to move on the presumed position of the enemy's works, and, if practicable, to carry them. In case of his inability to do this, and he was directed not to attack if the works were found strong and well manned, he was to threaten and confront the enemy, and Major-General Warren, who was to support Parke in the first operation, was instructed, in case Parke did not attack, to cross Hatcher's Run and endeavor to get possession of the brigade by which the Boydton plank road crosses that stream. Major-General Hancock, with parts of the Second Corps and Gregg's division of cavalry, was ordered to cross Hatcher's Run by the Vaughan road, then to turn to the northward and endeavor to seize the bridge where the Caliborne road crosses it. This project was based upon information which led to the belief that the enemy's line only extended to the crossing of Hatcher's Run by the Boydton plank road, and that it was not completed this far, and was weakly manned. The movement was promptly made as directed, but instead of finding the enemy's line as expected, it was found to extend down the run nearly
* See pp. 614, 821.