War of the Rebellion: Serial 089 Page 0403 Chapter LIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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could have annihilated all of the enemy south of the run. There amy be an explanation for all this, or I may misunderstand what did occur. Before telegraphing to Washington the particulars of yesterday's operations I would like a partial report.




October 28, 1864 - 11 a. m.

Lieutenant-General GRANT:

Your dispatch in relation to General Crawford's movements is received. The inquiry you make is quite natural, but I judge, from all I can learn, the difficulty of Crawford reaching the scene of action in time was twofold - first, the character of the country represented as worse than the Wilderness, and, secondly, the fact that Crawford was at that time engaged with the enemy, and trying to get across the run to take the line confronting Griffin in reverse. The distance between Hancock and Crawford was also owing to a bend in the stream greater than was at first supposed, no connection between the two having been made, as was erroneously reported. You may, perhaps, remember hearing just before we left Hancock some sharp and continued musketry firing; this was Crawford. Again, when I spoke of the enemy's crossing the run on Hancock's right I referred to their coming through that piece of woods which, if you remember, we stopped on the edge of for a little while before we left. Indeed, I am now satisfied if we had continued on the road we started on much longer we should have struck the enemy. When I first heard of the attack on Hancock, General Warren had just returned from Crawford, and so well satisfied were we both that Crawford could not get to him in time that I immediately started Ayres to move up the road from Armstrong's Mill, but it was then solate that it was dark by the time Ayres had crossed the run at Armstrong's, and I accordingly halted him to hear from Hancock. I am of the opinion that Crawford's position and movements were of essential value to Hancock by keeping in check a considerable force of the enemy who would otherwise have not only joined in the attack but cut off the road communicating with him. This explanation will, I trust, relieve your mind of any impression unfavorable to General Crawford, who, I really believe, was disposed to do all in his power. There is no doubt now it would have been better if Crawford had been sent at once to Hancock by the road we took, but in ignorance of the distance either that Hancock would have to go or had gone in sending Crawford to Hancock's support, I directed he should move up the bank of the stream, with the hope that in co-operation with Griffin we might dislodge the enemy from the line of works he occupied resting on the run. The character of the country caused delay in Crawford's progress and his subsequently striking the enemy, for he found him on the right bank of the stream and had to drive his skirmishers across. When he had done so he found the passage of the stream obstructed by felled timber and the enemy posted on the other side; he then made efforts to find a practicable place for assaulting, and was engaged in this and connecting with Griffin on the other side below the enemy's line when Hancock was attacked. The special report required will be made at once; do you wish it in writing or by telegraph?