War of the Rebellion: Serial 089 Page 0310 OPERATIONS IN SE.VA. AND N.C. Chapter LIV.

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CONFIDENTIAL.] HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

October 23, 1864.

Major-General HANCOCK,

Commanding Second Corps:

I am requested by the major-general commanding to acknowledge the receipt of your confidential communication of yesterday's date, and to say that at present he contemplates holding the line of the Second Corps in the manner proposed in your estimate, and with the Third Division of your corps, which exceeds somewhat hat the number required by your estimate. He desires to be informed of the shortest time in which the other division of your corps can be relieved by the Third Division and the dispositions made for moving those divisions. The acting chief engineer will be directed to put up a battery at the Friend house and erect such other works in rear of the line as may be practicable.

A. A. HUMPHREYS,

Major-General and Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS SECOND CORPS, October 23, 1864.

Major-General HUMPHREYS,

Chief of Staff:

In reply to your confidential note of this date, I have the honor to say that the change indicated in it can be made in a single night, but it would be preferable to allow two nights to perfect the changes, especially the proper relief of the picket-line. One division I propose to mass in the field near the Southall house, the other in rear of my headquarters. I do not know the reason the Third Division was selected to hold the line. It is proper to say that this division would perhaps be more effective in the field than the First. The latter has a very large proportion of conscripts and new men fewer experienced subaltern officers. General Miles himself, however, would be a very valuable officer, and I should regret to move without him. It seems to me, however, that under all the circumstances it might be preferable to let General Miles hold the line with his division.

Very respectfully,

WINF'D S. HANCOCK,

Major-General, Commanding.

CONFIDENTIAL.] HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

October 23, 1864.

Major-General HANCOCK,

Commanding Second Corps:

I am instructed to say that the commanding general has no objection to the line being held by your First Division. The Third Division was named because its numbers agreed nearly with those required to hold the line. In the event of your assigning the First Division to that duty, one of its brigades should be temporarily detached to the troops that march, or the surplus over and above the number required by your estimate to hold the line should be so detached. The contemplated movement will take place Wednesday night and Thursday morning, and the commanding general authorizes you to make the