War of the Rebellion: Serial 088 Page 0251 Chapter LIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

August 17, 1864-2.30 p. m.

Major-General WARREN, Commanding Fifth Corps:

GENERAL: The major-general commanding directs that you move to-morrow morning at 4 o'clock and endeavor to make a lodgment upon the Weldon railroad, in the vicinity of the Gurley house, or as much nearer to the enemy's line of entrenchments as practicable, and destroy the road as far as you can, carrying on the destruction as far south as possible. In addition to the destruction of the railroad the movement should be considered a reconnaissance in force, in which you will take advantage of any weakness of the enemy that you may perceive; but it is not expected that you will fight under serious disadvantages or assault fortifications. If you find the enemy extended along the railroad, showing an intrenched front wherever you move against them, you will remain, holding them there, keeping up your supplies. You will take with you for day's rations on the person, your artillery, and part of your ambulances and medical wagons, parking your trains at convenient and secure points in rear of the army. General Kautz is directed to place under your orders his brigade of cavalry (two regiments) picketing from the infantry left to the Blackwater, which you will dispose of so as best to aid your operations. Information derived from prisoners captured on the north side of the James indicates that nearly all the enemy's cavalry have been withdrawn from the south side of the James, and that the infantry force south of the Appomattox is considerably less than four divisions. The major-general commanding desires to impress on you that he will be unable to send you any re-enforcements, and that you must depend entirely upon your own resources. The only assistance you can derive from the troops in our entrenchments will be that of obliging the enemy to maintain his line. Keep the commanding general well advised of the progress of your operations and of everything important.

A. A. HUMPHREYS,

Major-General and Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

August 17, 1864-5.45 p. m.

Major-General WARREN, Commanding Fifth Corps:

Colonel Pitkin, quartermaster at City-Point, has forwarded to you 440 sets of implements for destroying railroad.

A. A. HUMPHREYS,

Major-General and Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

August 17, 1864-10.30 p. m.

Major-General WARREN, Commanding Fifth corps:

The following dispatch* from Lieutenant-General Grant is sent for your information and guidance. The commanding general directs that you strike the Weldon railroad as near the enemy's entrenchments as practicable, extend your reconnaissance as far to the left as you can, and, if a good opportunity occurs, carry out the instructions sent you last night.

A. A. HUMPHREYS,

Major-General and Chief of Staff.

---------------

*See Grant to Meade, 10 p. m., p. 245.

---------------