War of the Rebellion: Serial 089 Page 0901 Chapter LIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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We have now about two companies of infantry across. The river here is five feet deep. The pioneers are building a bridge for the infantry. The artillery, however, will probably have to remain here. The cavalry advanced dismounted to the edge of the run, but could not cross. They tried it also at another crossing about a mile below, but were repulsed with some loss. Our loss so far is probably between twenty and thirty. General Miles is pushing the cavalry over as rapidly as possible, but the progress is slow, owing to the obstructions.

Very respectfully,

W. JAY,

Brevet Major, Aide-de-Camp.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

December 9, 1864-12.50 p.m. (Sent 1.05 p.m.)

Major-General HUMPHREYS:

Your telegram with dispatch from Miles received. The condition of affairs reported is very much what I anticipated. I now fear Miles will be checked long enough to enable infantry to be sent to support the enemy's cavalry, and I deem it not unlikely troops will be sent down the Duncan road to act offensively in conjunction with those defending Hatcher's Run. I hope Miles will be on the alert. I have ordered Colonel Tippin, commanding headquarters reserves, to move up to the left and report to you for service, either in holding the lines or to re-enforce Miles, whichever in your judgment is best. I should not be surprised if Miles is attacked in force and if the result of his reconnaissance would be a general engagement on our left between Fort Cummings and his position. At any rate, I think this contingency should be held in view and provided for, though it was not contemplated when the lieutenant-general ordered a division to be sent in support of the cavalry reconnaissance. Hold your reserves well in hand. Parke was ordered last night to withdraw his reserves from the lines, but it will take some time to get them up to the scene of action.

GEO. G. MEADE,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS SECOND ARMY CORPS,

December 9, 1864-1.30 p.m.

Major-General MEADE,

Commanding Army of the Potomac:

General Wheaton was ordered to be ready to move at once with the reserves of the Sixth Corps without trains. I have also ordered General Gibbon to be ready to move at once with the reserves of his division. I will order General Potter to be ready to move at once. Had he not better concentrate his command immediately near the Jerusalem road at the rear line of works. I have ordered a picket-line to connect with Miles, covering the Vaughan road, and have cautioned Miles about the Duncan road, informing him that Wheaton is ordered to be ready to move to his support should it be necessary.

A. A. HUMPHREYS,

Major-General.

[For Meade to Humphreys, 1.30 p.m., see Meade to Grant, 2 p.m., p. 800.]