Statement of major Roebling, aide-de-camp, of what he saw take place on the south side of Hatcher's Run, October 27 and 28.
October 27, about 9 a. m., General Griffin was in line of battle and skirmishing on the north bank; 9.30, started with the escort to reconnoiter the north bank of Hatcher's Run from Armstrong's Mill up. Found a regiment of the Second Corps just leaving the rifle-pits opposite that mill. These rifle-pits had been vacated by the enemy in the morning. I supposed at that time that they were continuous on the south side of the creek, and crossed it somewhere opposition Griffin's left, connecting with the breast-works opposite Griffin's front. Coming up the creek found one rebel vedette in the woods, who fired on us and ran; stuck a field a while; found the left of Griffin's picket-line in the western edge of the field resting on the run. The south bank of the run appeared thickly wooded all the way. Returned at 10.15. About 10.30 Generals and Meade arrived. I explained my reconnaissance to the generals. General Grant them ordered General Meade to have one of the division of the Fifth Corps sent across the run at the mill, and march up behind the breast-work, so as to uncover General Griffin's front and enable him to advance. About 11.30 General-Bragg on the right, Hofman on the left, Maryland Brigade in reserve. The line marched by right of companies to the front; a strong skirmish line ahead. At this time Generals Grant and Meade passed the saw-mill on their way to Hancock; they stopped five minutes to talk. At 12.30 rode with Colonel Wainwright out the road toward the steam saw-mill; turned [to] the right at the first clearing, where there was an abandoned house. Went down a small patch leading from the northwest corner of the field toward the creek; found Crawford's line had got that far, and had halted for a few minutes to gain more ground to the left. Returned along the creek to our headquarters at the saw-mill, woods very thick, and found that the rifle-pits ended 200 yards above the mill. As soon as I came back I thought I would have time to go to the Second Corps, and see what they were doing, and be back in time before Crawford would strike anything.
Started at 1 for the Second Corps; road leads through dense woods for nearly three miles. One brigade of General Mott's division was lying in the road just before you came to the open field. As I came out into the field I saw Generals Grant, Meade, and Hancock at a house on the left. This was very large, three-fourths mile wide by two and a half long, running north and south. I was told the plank road ran along the western edge of the field. General Egan's division was formed in line of battle, facing north, and posted about 300 yards north of the road I was on, his right rested on the wood, and left on the plank road or somewhere near it; he was just completing the formation of the line. At this time I heard firing and cannonading southeast of Mrs. Rainey's, which I supposed to be cavalry. There was also infantry skirmishing to the northwest across the plank road. As I passed General Egan, who was standing in front of his line, a battery of ours in his front, say yards, opened. I went up to see what they were firing at; found it was a section of a brass battery firing at long range toward the west across the plank road at a rifle battery of the enemy. One-quarter a mile to the north of this section [in] a ravine, near a house which I understand in Burgess' Tavern, was the other