HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION, SIXTH CORPS,
Jones' House, December 10, 1864-11 p.m.
By order of General Humphreys two brigades of my division are moved to the right-one near Fort Alexander Hays, the other to the woods between Fort Davis and Fort Alexander Hays, and, as directed, my headquarters are here. I am here as a support to your line, and shall report to-morrow in person, if I can find your headquarters. If you desire any movement of my troops, please send a guide, as neither myself nor staff are familiar with the woods or works.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
December 10, 1864-2 p.m.
Brevet Major-General POTTER:
GENERAL: You will immediately move with your command down the Jerusalem plank road to the support of Major-General Warren. Colonel Kerwin, commanding a cavalry force 700 strong, with a battery of horse artillery, and Colonel Spaulding, with an engineer regiment 700 strong and 300 feet of canvas bridging, will report to you and accompany you. You will march without intermission to the Nottoway River and across that stream to Sussex Court-House, from which point you will send out your cavalry toward the Weldon railroad at Jarratt's, sending a party down the left bank of the Nottoway toward Jerusalem to endeavor to ascertain General Warren's position and communicate with him. General Warren left here on the 7th with six days' rations. His advance was at Sussex Court-House on the night of the 7th, and he expected to strike the railroad at Jarratt's on the 8th. He was instructed to destroy it as far as Hicksford and return by way of Jerusalem. To-day being his fourth day, unless prevented by the enemy, he should be on his return to-morrow. It is possible on reaching the Nottoway, you may obtain information that would render it imprudent to cross where General Warren crossed. In this case you can move down to Allen's Court-House and toward Jarratt's and down to Jerusalem. It is difficult to give precise instructions, as you must be governed by circumstances and information acquired on the road. The great object is to assist General Warren, but in attempting this you must be careful not to place your command in a position to have it isolated, but must keep open your line of retreat toward the James River and this army. A scout will be sent with you who will endeavor to get through to General Warren, and by whom you will notify General Warren of your position and movements, and inform that officer that if compelled he can move over to Suffolk, where supplies will be ready for him. Should you obtain information indicating the impracticability of re-enforcing Warren and rendering your own command in jeopardy, you will return to this army, sending a courier in advance to notify me of the fact. You will also, from time to time, keep me advised of your movements, sending your dispatches with sufficient escort to prevent their being captured by guerrillas.
Very respectfully, &c.,
GEO. G. MEADE,