General Barlow, served as colonel under his command, was promoted after numerous recommendations a brigadier-general May 12, 1864, and is now brevetted a major-general from August 25, causing him to rank his superior officer, General Barlow, equally conspicuous for gallantry, and as strongly urged for promotion, and, practically, if General Miles is assigned to duty with his brevet rank, giving him the command of the division in which he has always served under Barlow, unless he is transferred to another corps, and then he would rank all the division commanders, who were brigadier-generals commanding divisions along before General Miles was promoted from a colonelcy or had held a higher command than a brigade, viz, Willcox, Crawford, Griffin, Ayres, Cutler, and Potter; also, Brigadier-General Mott has been brevetted to date September 10, 1864, which would make him rank Willcox, Crawford, and Griffin, his seniors as brigadier-generals and commanders of divisions. Feeling satisfied such was not your intention, and that this condition of affairs has arisen from your attention not being particularly called to the effect of the dates given to these commissions, I have assumed the responsibility of withholding their distribution until a reference can by had to you, and I respectfully recommend I be authorized to return them to the Department, and one of two courses be adopted: Either give them all the same date, in which case the previous relative rank of officers will not be altered, or else change the dates of such as are now October 21, so as to cause the relative rank of the brevet commissions to correspond with previous rank. I would also suggest, as a most gratifying act to the officers concerned, that without reference to the dates of commissions these commissions should embody the reasons for which they were conferred.
GEO. G. MEADE,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
October 31, 1864 - 2 p. m. (Sent 2.40 p. m.)
About 8 p. m. last evening the enemy made a dash on the picket-line of the Second Corps west of the plank road. They were quickly repulsed and the line re-established. Major-General Hancock reports about 60 men lost as his casualties. I forward you a dispatch * just received from Major-General Hancock, in relation to the affair of the 27th instant. General Hancock does not mention in it that the bridge was held till after midnight and that two regiments of his command remained in possession of the field till after 8 o'clock the next morning, when they withdrew, followed by a force of the enemy's cavalry.
GEO. G. MEADE,
CITY POINT, VA., October 31, 1864.
Order to New York city at once the brigade of regular troops in the Fifth Corps.
U. S. GRANT,
*See p. 448.