War of the Rebellion: Serial 089 Page 0014 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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1864, from these headquarters, in relation to colors lost in battle, was only forwarded according to its address and has been returned with an indorsement of which the following is a copy:

HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES, City Point, Va., September 30, 1864.

Respectfully returned.

General Orders, Numbers 37, headquarters Army of the Potomac, being general in its operation, applying to all regiments or batteries, is approved. The right of any officer commanding troops to reverse any order or action of his subordinate is undoubted. In this case General Hancock might properly have reversed General Gibbon's action, but such action having been approved by a superior commander the order must be respected by General Hancock until he can get the same revoked by authority higher than the commanding general. The right of any officer to appeal from decisions of his superior and carry it through to the highest military authority cannot be denied, but until a final reversion is obtained all orders must be respected and obeyed.

By command of Lieutenant-General Grant:


Lieutenant Colonel, Military Secretary and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Assistant Adjutant-General.


General Miles, commanding First Division, will ate once relieve as much of General Gibbon's division as possible by putting in his reserves and holding the line connecting the batteries and inclosed works with a mere skirmish line. General Gibbon will relieve General Mott as far to the left as possible, putting all his division into the inclosed works except a thin skirmish line connecting. The picket-lines will not be changed. It is hoped that General Miles will be able to occupy as far as the Norfolk railroad, and perhaps to include Fort Meikel, and that General Gibbon may relieve all of General Mott's division, or at least to Fort Davis. General Mott will mass his division out of sight of the enemy between the Avery house and these headquarters. The greatest promptitude is necessary to secure the execution of this order.

By order of Major-General Hancock:


Lieutenant-Colonel and Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, October 1, 1864-3.30 p. m.


Chief of Artillery:

General Humphreys wishes a section of artillery to be sent to Prince George Court-House, and another to the fort on the Norfolk railroad. Some headquarters troops are there. I have not a gun. Can you not spare the battery I sent you yesterday? If so, send it or some other down at once. Let me know by telegraph, that I may inform General Meade.