War of the Rebellion: Serial 088 Page 0486 Chapter LIV. OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

August 25, 1864-11 p. m.

Major-General HANCOCK, Commanding Second Corps:

DEAR GENERAL: No one sympathizer with you more that I do in the misfortunes of this evening. McEntee gave me such good accounts of

affairs up to the time he left, and it was then so late, I deferred going to you as I intended. If I had any doubt of your ability to hold your lines from a direct attack, I would have sent Willcox with others down the railroad, but my anxiety was about your rear, and my apprehension that they would either move around your left or interpose between you and Warren. To meet the first contingency I sent Willcox down the plank road, and for the second I held Crawford and White ready to move and attack. At the same time I thought it likely after thing you they might attack Warren, and wanted to leave him till the last moment some reserve. I am satisfied you and your command have done all in your power, and though you have met with a reverse, the honor and escutcheons of the old Second are as bright as ever, and will on some future occasion prove it is only when enormous odds are brought against them that they can be moved. Don't let this matter worry you, because you have given me every satisfaction.

Yours truly,

GEO. G. MEADE,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

August 25, 1864-11.25 p. m.

Major-General HANCOCK,

Commanding Second Corps:

Your dispatch by Captain Miller is received. The commanding general has ordered General Crawford's division, General White's division, and Mott's two brigades, to move up to your support at once to cover your withdrawal. Should you not need them you will send them back to their commands. The commanding general approves your withdrawal.

A. A. HUMPHREYS,

Major-General and Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

August 25, 1864.

Major General W. S. HANCOCK, Commanding Second Corps:

GENERAL: In returning to you the accompanying communications in reference to the statement of Colonel Spear, that during his recent engagement with the enemy he was unable to obtain from the troops in the vicinity the assistance he needed, I am instructed to say that the explanations of Brigadier-Generals Barlow and Gregg are entirely satisfactory; and that the commanding general has no comments to make respecting the matter, further that to say, that if General Barlow considered it inexpedient to send to Colonel Spear the support thought necessary by that officer he should have ordered him to fall back if hard pressed.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.