War of the Rebellion: Serial 089 Page 0806 OPERATIONS IN SE.VA. AND N.C. Chapter LIV.

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CITY POINT, VA., December 5, 1864-6.30 p.m.

Major General GEORGE G. MEADE:

We will not wait for Getty's division. How soon can you move troops? I've been waiting to get off troops down the coast, but as Palmer has already moved from New Berne, will wait here no longer. I will go out to see you in the morning.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

December 5, 1864-9.30 p.m.(Sent 9.45 p.m.)

Lieutenant-General GRANT:

General Seymour says it will take all day to-morrow to get his division up. If so, by to-morrow night the Fifth Corps will be massed ready to move the next day. The cavalry, and, if required one division of the Second Corps, can move at the same time. No orders, or intimations of any have yet been given or will be till the last moment, so as to prevent the information getting to the enemy.

GEO. G. MEADE,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,,

December 5, 1864-1.15 p.m.

Brigadier-General RAWLINS:

Surgeon Dougherty is a faithful and meritorious officer who has been continuously in the field since the commencement of the war, and in my judgment is entitled to the relaxation which his assignment to Major-General Hancock will give him. I should not have objected to his transfer had the question been referred to me. My object in alluding to his order was to show the principle being practiced of removing these officers without asking how it would affect the public service, and to base my suggestion that the Department should be asked to make such reference before ordering away others, as I was informed that a considerable number of staff and other officers were expecting orders to report to Major-General Hancock. I am not apprised that these expectations were based on anything Major-General Hancock has said or done, but I thought it prudential to suggest this step being taken, as it is natural both General H[ancock] and the Department should be desirous of getting the most efficient officers in the new corps. In this I am desirous of accommodating General H[ancock] as far as my knowledge of the wants of the service will admit, and I shall cheerfully give my consent to the transfer of any officer whom Major-General Humphreys or any other corps commander says can be spared. If the dispatch in the case of Surgeon Dougherty is not sent I would advise its being retained. Surgeon D[ougherty], under the orders of the War Department sent to him direct by telegraph in advance of the printed order, left here several days ago.

GEO. G. MEADE,

Major-General.