War of the Rebellion: Serial 089 Page 0898 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

December 9, 1864-12.35 a. m. (Sent 12.45 a. m.)

Major-General HUMPHREYS,

Commanding Second Corps:

I desire that you send early in the morning, as soon after daylight as practicable, one of the divisions of the reserve force under you command, preferably one of the divisions of the Second Corps, to make a reconnaissance to ascertain if practicable the movements of the enemy on the other side of Hathcer's Run, and to sustain the cavalry reconnaissance which is directed to be made at the same time. The cavalry has already been ordered to move at daylight and try to cross on the Halifax road. The infantry had better force a passage at Armstrong's Mill and the Vaughan road. Colonel Kerwin, commanding the cavalry, will be directed to take orders from the officer you send in command of the infantry. Please inform him who this is. He will be found at General Gregg's old headquarters on the jerusalem plank road. A battery of artillery had better accompany the infantry. Perhaps, as there is some doubt of the cavalry crossing at the Halifax road, and the cavalry force is so small, it may be better that the whole force, cavalry and infantry, should operate at the Vaughan road, as the object is to get the cavalry on the other side of Hatcher's Run. If this should agree with your judgment you can send instructions to that effect to Colonel Kerwin.

GEO. G. MEADE,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS SECOND ARMY CORPS,

December 9, 1864-1.45 a. m. (Received 1.50 a. m.)

General WILLIAMS:

I have ordered Miles' division to make the reconnaissance as soon after daylight as practicable, and Colonel Kerwin to move on the Vaughan road. General Miles is informed that he may not find it necessary to move farther than the intersection of the Vaughan and Halifax roads, forcing the crossing of Hatcher's Run.

A. A. HUMPHREYS,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

December 9, 1864-10 a. m. (Sent 10.15 a. m.)

Major-General HUMPHREYS:

There seems to be no doubt of the return of Early's troops, also of Hoke's division having been brought this side the Appomattox. Under these circumstances the enemy can detach against Warren without weakening greatly his lines. what news have you from General Miles? If he forces the passage of Hatcher's Run he should be cautious about advancing the infantry beyond without being pretty sure there is no large force on his flank nearer than where we suppose their lines to be.*

GEO. G. MEADE,

Major-General.

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*This is reply to Humphreys of 8.30 a. m., p. 889.

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