take his line, which he hoped to do. The road in his rear, leading to the plank road, was yet open, and the staff officer met Willcox's column about two miles from the scene of action and hurried them up. I have sent orders to Warren and Parke to immediately send Crawford's and White's division to Hancock's support and to assist him in withdrawing. Hancock was authorized several times during the day to withdraw if the security of his command required it or if the enemy interposed between him and Warren. On my return here at 7.30, finding a dispatch from him intimating he desires orders to withdraw, specific orders were sent, but, although the operator acknowledged the receipt and said they were delivered, I fear the enemy at that time had possession of the road between the operator and Hancock. I am in hopes the arrival of Willcox has enabled Hancock to recover his intrenchments, and that he will withdraw as soon as it is dark. Should the enemy follow to-morrow, the re-enforcements carried by Crawford may enable Hancock to punish him.
GEO. G. MEADE,
CITY POINT, VA., August 25, 1864-11.20 p. m.
The enemy having carried Hancock's rifle-pits have probably captured a good many prisoners. In that case, and finding, too, that Hancock is being re-enforced, they will likely to return to-night with their prisoners, and attack Warren in the morning. Warren ought to be well on his guard.
U. S. GRANT,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
August 25, 1864-11.20 p. m.
Another staff officer has arrived from General Hancock, who left him at 8 p. m. At that time all was quiet. Hancock had been unable to recover that portion of his line which the enemy got possession of. The staff officer reports the fighting very severe and desperate; he can form no idea of our losses, though thinks they must be considerable. I regret to state he reports the loss of eight pieces of artillery. It appears the enemy got possession of a salient in the line where two batteries were posed. The staff officer says from the number of attacks repulsed the enemy's losses must be far greater that ours. General Hancock was marking his preparations to withdraw when this officer left, and as his rear all open no difficulty in this operation is anticipated. The wounded will all be brought off, but the dead cannot be buried. I have directed the re-enforcements ordered to be halted and held in readiness for movement to-morrow in case Hancock is followed or attacked.
GEO. G. MEADE,