War of the Rebellion: Serial 089 Page 0294 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

October 21, 1864.

Major-General HANCOCK,

Commanding Second Corps:

I referred your dispatch relative to picket-line to the major-general commanding, and he informs me that it was not intended to change the point of junction of the picket-lines of the two corps-that is half way between For Alexander Hays and Fort Howard.

A. A. HUMPHREYS,

Major-General and Chief of Staff.

CONFIDENTIAL.] HEADQUARTERS SECOND ARMY CORPS,

October 21, 1864.

Major-General HANCOCK:

GENERAL: The lieutenant-general commanding desires a formidable movement made to our left with a view of seizing and holding the South Side Railroad. For this purpose it is proposed to hold the line now held by your corps only with the artillery and garrisons of the inclosed works, the picketing to be done as far as possible by these garrisons. I desire to have your views as to the practicability and expediency of this operations, the number of men it will require to holds all the works, and such additional picketing as you may deem absolutely essential. It is, of course, to be understood that the project is based on the presumption that the heavy attack made on the enemy's right will compel them to employ all their available force to meet it, and we hold the line of redoubts only in such manner as to prevent an unobstructed movement on their part, or to check them long enough to enable us to re-enforce this part of our lines in case the attack on the left does not concentrate all their forces to meet it. I would be pleased to have your views, with the number of men and guns required to hold the line, and the number of men (and guns, if any) that would be available for operations on the left. All trains, battery horses, &c., will have to go inside the lines of City Point, which will also be held.

Respectfully, yours,

GEO. G. MEADE,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

October 21, 1864.

Lieutenant-Colonel MORGAN,

Assistant Inspector-General:

The commanding general directs me to hasten the completion of the fraise in front of you line. Major Beers, Fiftieth New York Volunteer Engineers, has been ordered to work three additional companies of engineer troops to assist him. Will you please have an additional detail of 700 men, making 1,000 in all, and thirty move wagons, making fifty in all, for day work; and 300 men, in addition to the 100 he has now, for night work. With these details he will probably be able to finish in two days and nights. I will then require details to demolish the old line.

N. MICHLER.