At 12 m. I received the following dispatch from General Grant to General Meade, forwarded to me by General Webb:
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
March 30, 1865.
My idea was that we should try to extend our left so as to cross to White Oak road, say at W. Dabney's, or as near up to the enemy as we can. This would seem to cover all the roads up to Ford's ready, by which Sheridan might then go and get on the South Side road, and possibly double up the enemy and drive him north of Hatcher's Run.
U. S. GRANT,
This dispatch is forwarded to you for you information simply. Your dispatch has been received. The commanding general sees no reason for any change in his previous orders to you. He has no information of General Sheridan's movements beyond the general statement that General S. is to turn the enemy's right.
ALEX. S. WEBB,
It did seem to me that on General Meade's receiving this dispatch he should have signified to me whether or not I was to extend my left so as to cross the White Oak road; if not, how far I should extend it; for in this latter case I should not be carrying out General Grant's expectations. Had I been in communication with General Grant I should certainly have solicited from his some definite information on this point. But General Meade so far differed in judgment with me that he did not think a movement for a specific object shish eight be impracticable did not require any modification of instructions, arriving at n apparent consummation. It seemed to me all the difference imaginable. I therefore, at 12 m., addressed the following dispatch to General Webb:
I received your dispatch inclosing one from General Grant, in which you say "the commanding general seem no reason to change his previous orders." Your instructions have never said definitely how far I was expected to extend, nor the object desired. General Grant's is definite on both points, and if I am to attempt that myself at all hazards I dont's shrink from it. General Humphreys can, perhaps, extend farther to the left, if required. Common experience requires that I should extend my left toward the White Oak road with strong force and precaution against an attack from the enemy. I am very glad to know the object and extent of my farther movement to the left. I have seen General Sheridan. He has ordered a division to move north to the White Oak road, which greatly simplifies my movement.
The receiving of dispatches and giving necessary orders had kept me almost continuously engaged at my headquarters so that I had no opportunity to examine the condition of affairs personally along my front.
I now went up the Quaker road to where General Griffin's advance was, and arrived there just as his skirmish line was advancing, that of the enemy having fallen back. What this act on their part was due to I am not aware, of, but think it probable that the advance of General Humphreys' skirmish line some distance to my right had made the position of those in front of General Griffin untenable. Finding by personal examination that our line of battle could be now advanced across the open field to a good position, and also open the direct road to Dabney's Miss, it was directed to move forward. General Miles' division, of the Second Corps, also moved forward, connecting with my