War of the Rebellion: Serial 088 Page 0487 Chapter LIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

August 25, 1864.

Brigadier-General MOTT,

Commanding Division, Second Corps:

GENERAL: The commanding general understands that your line of pickets has a line of support outside of the intrenchments. As your fighting line is the intrenchments, and as the sole object of the pickets in the present instance is to give warning of the approach of the enemy, it seems to him that the pickets should be merely numerous enough for lookouts, and that the part of your force used as supports to the pickets would be better situated along the intrenchments. In the event of an attack the return of so many of your men to the intrenchments, if followed closely by the enemy, would embarrass your fire screen the enemy from it. The staff officer who visited the line yesterday reports that no part of the troops behind the intrenchments had their accouterments on. It is supposed the line of support was expected to hold the enemy in check sufficiently long top enable troops not on picket to get to their places; but should the enemy try the maneuver, which they have several times executed with success, of moving in rapidly by the flank, it is apprehended they might succeed. The line of supports in the dense woods would be of no service. If posted in the intrenchments they would be.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. A. HUMPHREYS,

Major-General and Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

August 25, 1864-12.45 p. m.

Brigadier-General MOTT,

Commanding Division, Second Corps:

General Hancock, in a dispatch dated 11.40 a. m., reports that some force of the enemy has broken through Gregg's line across from the Weldon railroad to the plank road. General Gregg is looking after it. You had better send at once to you force in the large redoubt and along the intrenchments to the Strong house, and get them under arms and hold them ready for movement in any direction. Have the rest of your command ready also for that may turn up.

A. A. HUMPHREYS,

Major-General and Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

August 25, 1864-1.35 p. m.

Brigadier-General MOTT,

Commanding Division, Second Corps:

The major general commanding directs that you send all your available force at once down the plank road to the intersection of the Reams' Station road. You will find some artillery of the Ninth Corps at the Williams house, and can take one of the batteries. As soon as the force reaches the point specified the commander must communicate with General Hancock, who is at Reams' Station on the Weldon railroad.

A. A. HUMPHREYS,

Major-General and Chief of Staff.