War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0225 Chapter LIV. THE RICHMOND CAMPAIGN.

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past 4 o'clock I received the following dispatch from the major-general commanding by the hands of Captain Rosecrans:

HEADQUARTERS FIFTH CORPS-2.45 p. m.

Major-General HANCOCK:

In addition to Mott's troops, I have ordered Willcox's division, Ninth Corps, to the plank road, where the Reams' Station rod branches off. Willcox is ordered to report to you. Call him up, if necessary. He will have some artillery with him. I hope you will be able to give the enemy a good thrashing. All I apprehend is his being able to interpose between you and Warren. You must look out for this. I hold some more of Warren's forces ready for contingencies.

GEO. G. MEADE,

Major-General.

To this dispatch the following answer was sent:

HEADQUARTERS SECOND CORPS,

August 25, 1864-4.15 p. m.

General MEADE:

I have just received your dispatch by Captain Rosencrantz. I fear it will be too late to have Willcox get here for any practicable purpose, as he is between four and five miles off now. Still, I shall order up his division. had the division come down the railroad it would have been here in time. I desire to know as soon as possible whether you wish me to retire from this station to-night in case we get through safe.

WINF'D S. HANCOCK,

Major-General.

To this dispatch a postscript (now nearly illegible) was added, stating that skirmishing was going on and an attack probable on the left.

The second dispatch was as follows:

HEADQUARTERS SECOND CORPS,

August 25, 1864-4.30 p. m.

General MEADE:

An examination of the country leads me to believe that the enemy cannot turn my right without making a wide detour of the Vaughan road, and they have not time to do this to-night. The right of my line extends nearly to Jones' Hole Swamp, impassable for troops in line. I am more apprehensive of my left, but it is getting so late the enemy must make vigorous use of the time to gain any advantage. I have ordered up Willcox's division as a precaution. Have heard nothing of cavalry reported to have passed in the direction of the plank road. There is only skirmishing going on now.

WINF'D S. HANCOCK.

Captain Rosencrantz was detained for a few minutes until I received word from the telegraph operator that the line was working and the dispatches had been sent. The following additional dispatch was sent by telegraph at 4.45 to General Meade:

The latest indications are that the enemy have drawn a line from my left, covering the railroad and the Dinwiddie and Stony Creek roads. They are heard chopping (I suppose felling abatis), though the pickets report they hear artillery moving when the chopping is going on. I still hold the road between me and Warren. The enemy have made no demonstration on the Vaughan road.

WINF'D S. HANCOCK,

Major-General.

As soon as I knew that Willcox's division had been ordered down the plank road I dispatched a staff officer, Captain McEntee, to conduct it up. Arrangements were made as to its disposition. About 5 o'clock a staff officer from General Mott (Major Willian) reported the arrival of 1,700 men of General Mott's division at the forks of the road where the Reams' Station road leaves the plank road. These troops would have immediately been ordered up, but Major Willian stated that before he could possibly get back with the order Willcox's division

15 R R-VOL XLII, PT I