War of the Rebellion: Serial 095 Page 0153 Chapter LVIII. THE RICHMOND CAMPAIGN.

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has restrained me from giving him positive orders to attack; but I have directed him to push out strong reconnaissances, and left to his judgment, based on the result of these reconnaissance and his knowledge of the state of his command, whether to attack or not. From all I can learn, unofficially, the disaster yesterday arose from the enemy suddenly, toward the close of the day, withdrawing from the column on the Vaughan road and concentrating on the column at Dabney's Mill, which when one part of the line was broken, the whole retired in disorder. Warren had one whole division (Wheaton's, Sixth Corps) not engaged. One brigade reached the mill just as the line had given way, but were unable, owing to the confusion and the dense woods, to do anything toward remedying the evil. In reference to holding to hatcher's Run, my idea was to hold it permanently by a strong line, which a small force could hold, if we moved farther to the left. If it is designed only to hold it temporarily and to abandon it, the object I had in view would not be attained. We have now a line of breast-works all the way, but my suggestion was to a permanent line, with redoubts.

GEO. G. MEADE,

Major-General.

Lieutenant-General GRANT.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

February 7, 1865 - 2.45 p. m. (Sent 4 p. m.)

Cipher dispatch received.* I will notify you as soon as the troops are in position, but I hardly think it will be by to-morrow, as I have some works to erect before I can unmans the forces on the left. As soon as your dispatch of 11.30 was received* I forwarded it to Warren, directing him to cease offensive operations unless some very important advantage was to be gained. At 12.20, before my dispatch had reached him, he reported Crawford having carried the enemy's line of skirmish rifle-pits, and that a prisoner reported them in line of battle near Dabney's Mill, where they were yesterday. I expect soon to hear my dispatch has reached him. I was desirous, for the morale of the command, that the offensive should be taken. Warren has sent in the return of one division, and I hope from it that the losses yesterday will be much less than was at first supposed. Large numbers of stragglers have come in during the night and this morning. A deserter reports Rodes' old division as having been moved from the north of the Appomattox to enemy's right, Has Ord heard anything of this?

GEO. G. MEADE,

Major-General.

Lieutenant-General GRANT.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

February 7, 1865 - 5.16 p. m. (Sent 5.22 p. m.)

I have just received a dispatch from Major-General Warren, announcing he had recovered most of the ground he occupied yesterday, and had again drawn the fire of the artillery in the enemy's works. As this accomplishes all I expected him to do, I have directed him to withdraw to Hatcher's Run, and shall hold the line from Fort Sampson to Armstrong's

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* See part II, pp. 448, 447, respectively.

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