CIRCULAR.] HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
October 25, 1864.
The instructions contained in the accompanying order will be regarded by those receiving the order as confidential, especially those portions that relate to an attack upon the enemy's lines.
By command of Major-General Meade:
ORDERS.] HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
October 25, 1864.
The following movements are ordered:
1. The troops assigned to holding the intrenchments during the operations on our left will be supplied with not less than six days' full rations from Thursday, the 27th instant, and the prescribed amount of artillery and infantry ammunition.
2. On the afternoon of the 26th instant (Wednesday) Major-General Hancock, commanding Second Corps, will move the division of his corps now in reserve to the Vaughan road just outside the line of rear intrenchments. They will take routes well to the rear so as to avoid the observation of the enemy, and every precaution will be taken during the night to conceal the movement. At 2 a.m. of the 27th General Hancock will move by the Vaughan road, cross Hatcher's Run, pass by Dabney's Mill and Wilson and Arnold's steam saw-mill on the Boydton plank road; cross the open country to Claiborne's road near its intersection with the White Oak road, and, recrossing Hatcher's Run near the Claiborne road bridge, will take the road running northeast from the vicinity of the bridge to the South Railroad, and endeavor to seize a commanding position on the road. In this operation General Gregg's cavalry will form part of General Hancock's command and will move on this. General Boydton plank road by the time General Parke attacks the enemy's right between Claypole's and Hatcher's Run.
3. General Gregg will concentrate his cavalry on the afternoon of the 26th instant (Wednesday) at some point toward the left convenient for crossing Hatcher's Run by the First route below that used by Hancock's infantry, and which shall not disclose the movement to the observation of the enemy. Every precaution will be taken to conceal the movement. His pickets from the vicinity of the plank road westward will be relieved in time to accompany him on the morning of the 27th. Upon concentrating his command he will report to Major-General Hancock. General Gregg will move on the morning of the 27th (Thursday), not later than 2 o'clock, cross Hatcher's Run below the Second Corps and move on the left of the infantry, probably using the Quaker road as far as the Boydton plank. His route must be governed by that of the Second Corps.
4. Major-General Parke, commanding Ninth Corps, will move at such hour of the morning of the 27th as will him to attack the right of the enemy's infantry, between Hatcher's Run and their new works at Hawks' and Dabney's, at the dawn of day. It is probable that the enemy's line of intrenchments is incomplete at that point, and the commanding general expects, by a secret and sudden movement, to surprise them and carry their half-formed works. General Parke will therefore moved and attack vigorously at the time named, not later than 5.30,