War of the Rebellion: Serial 089 Page 0382 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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has taken you a dispatch saying that Ayres' division (two brigades of it, one is now with Crawford) was ordered to move to you, and that he is now at Armstrong's Mill, and will come up if you want him. The dispatch also said in substance that the commanding general desires to say that if you thought you could attack successfully in the morning, you could have Crawford and Ayres; but if not, to withdraw whenever you deemed it most judicious. He wished your opinion, as well as to know the condition of affairs with you; that he has now learnt from your staff officer. Ayres was ordered to Armstrong's Mill upon receiving your message by Major Biddle.

A. A. HUMPHREYS,

Major-General and Chief of Staff.

If you withdraw to night, leave some force at Dabney's Mill to aid in withdrawing Crawford. Notify us of the time you intend to withdraw so that Crawford can receive orders.

A. A. H.

HEADQUARTERS SECOND ARMY CORPS,

October 27, 1864-9 p.m.

General HUMPHREYS:

GENERAL: In answer to your dispatch I have to say that I have directed my command to return to the vicinity of the Gurley house. General Egan, with his division, is instructed to hold Dabney's Mill and communicate with General Crawford if possible, and arrange with him about withdrawing. I have not been able to find General Crawford since about 4 p.m.

WINF'D S. HANCOCK,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTER ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

October 27, 1864-10.30 p.m.

Major-General HANCOCK,

Commanding Second Corps:

Your dispatch of 9 p.m. is received. The commanding general desires you to half after crossing Hatcher's Run and replenish your ammunition. Will send you further orders there. General Warren will attend to drawing in General Crawford, and will see that General Egan is notified when he can withdraw.

A. A. HUMPHREYS,

Major-General and Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS SECOND ARMY CORPS,

[October 27, 1864.]

[General HUMPHREYS:]

GENERAL: In reply to your dispatch, I have to say that if I had two fresh divisions and ammunition for my own command, I would attack to-morrow, but I consider the chances of these things being here at an early enough hour to be uncertain and the risk considerable. Of my own batteries, one has no ammunition, another only that in the limbers, and the third has lost all its officers and has only three men