half a mile on the road on which we had advanced in the morning, and then struck off to the left along a blind path in the direction of some desultory firing, which I conceived to be in General Crawford's front. Going upward of a mile I met the Third Brigade of the Second Division of the Fifth Corps on its way to report to General Crawford and delivered my message. Soon after leaving General Hancock on the Boydton plank road, half a mile from the burgess house, I heard very heavy firing,but knew not its cause. Leaving General Crawford I started to return to General Hancock, accompanied by Lieutenant Dresser, of the U. S. Army, who had some information form General Warren to General Meade, the purport of which I am ignorant. Keeping rather more to the right than I intended, being deceived in the direction by the firing of General Gregg's cavalry and that of the Second Corps,k in the midst of a dense forest I rode up to within thirty paces of the vedettes of the enemy, who commanded me and my party to halt. Not knowing their force I turned rapidly to the left, followed by my party. The enemy, though they threatened to do so, did not fire, neither did they pure us. I soon struck the road, on which I met three of our soldiers with four rebel prisoners, apparently lost. they were directed to the Second Corps. Soon after this I met Major Bingham, of General Hancock's staff, going with a message to General Crawford. I informed him of the danger in that direction, but he decided to try and get through and was captured, subsequently making his escape. Upon my arrival at the headquarters of the Second corps I reported to Major-General Hancock.
I have the honor to be, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
M. H. STACEY,
First Lieutenant, 12th U. S. Infty., Com., of Musters, 2nd Army Corps.
HEADQUARTERS SECOND CORPS,
October 31, 1864.
Respectfully forwarded, being probable a paper which General Meade may think of moment in connection with the connection between the Fifth and Second Corps, on the 27th instant. I intended to transmit it this afternoon with the copies of dispatches. Major Bingham's statement was transmitted this morning.*
WINF'D S. HANCOCK,
CIRCULAR.] HEADQUARTERS SECOND ARMY CORPS,
October 31, 1864.
That part of the line still occupied by the First Division will be relieved by the Second Division, Major-General Gibbon, commanding, as follows: Battery 13,150 men; Fort Haskell, 250 men; Fort Stedman and Battery 10,300 men; Battery Numbers 9,150 men; fort McGilvery, 800 men; Battery Numbers 5, 150 men; Battery Numbers 4, 150 men; Dunn's house battery, 100 men. The picket-line, including the line along the Appomattox, will also be relieved by the Second Division. The troops on Forts Stedman and Haskell and the Dunn's house battery
*See Part I, p.238.