the left and close up this interval. As soon as I had found the enemy's left flank orders were sent to General Griffin by several staff officers to move also obliquely to the left and come in to the support of General Ayres. But as Griffin's division was moving out of sight in the woods the order only reached him in the neighborhood of the place marked "Chimneys" on the map.*
While giving orders thus I did not think it proper to leave my place on the open field, because it was one where my staff officers, send to different parts of the command, could immediately find me on their return, and thus I could get information from all points at once, and utilize the many eyes of my staff and those of my commanders, instead of going to some special point myself and neglect all others. The time had not arrived, in my judgment, for me to do that. It may be that at this time it was that General Sheridan taught I did not exert myself to inspire confidence in the troops that broke under a not very severe fire. There was not necessity for my personal presence for such purpose reported from any part of the field. The time which elapsed before hearing from General Crawford or General Griffin convinced me that they must have passed on beyond the right of General Ayres. Leaving sufficient means to send any important information after me, I then rode rapidly to the right near the Chimneys, and was received with a considerable fire from the enemy across the open field. As I afterward learned, this fire occasioned some unsteadiness in General Ayres' right and also caused the left of General Crawford to oblique to the right, so as to keep the protection of the ridge and trees. I remained here until General Griffin arrived with his division, when I directed him to attack the enemy on the right of General Ayres, and this he proceeded to do. I then rode back to General Ayres' position and found that he had captured the enemy's extreme right [left+] and some thousand prisoners. This information I sent to General Griffin, and then rode as rapidly as possible to direct General Crawford as circumstances might require. Before proceeding further I will give quotations from Major Cope's report relating to the proceeding:
You sent me to General Griffin with an order to bring his division toward the White Oak road, by the flank, in order to be in better supporting distance of the Second Division, also to inform General Crawford that he was going somewhat too far to the right. I found Generals Griffin and Crawford to the right of the Chimneys, and gave them your orders. At this time the enemy had a line of skirmishers running from the left of their line of works by the Sidney [Sydnor] house toward Hatcher's Run. You come to where General Griffin was, and then returned to the White Oak road, where I joined you a few minutes after. The part of the enemy's line where you were had been carried by General Ayres, and you sent me again to General Griffin with this information and with an order to push forward as fast as possible. He had already reached the Sidney [Sydnor] house and was pushing forward across the field. I delivered your order and gave him the direction to advance, which was west.
I also annex an extract from General Ayres' report describing his operations after the forward movement began:
Advancing through a wood into an opening, the skirmishers engaged those of the enemy, pushing them back. Soon after crossing the White Oak road, fining the enemy's fire to come from the left, I changed front to the left, by facing the Second Brigade to the left and filing it to the left. Not to lose time I also threw the First Brigade (his reserve) into the front line, on the left of the Second. The Third Brigade soon after engaging the enemy, fining its right flank in the air (I must confess that I experienced anxiety also on this account), portions of it were very unsteady,
*See Plate LXVI, Map 11 of the Atlas.
+So corrected by General Warren, in letter to Adjutant-General of the Army, February 24, 1866.
53 R R-VOL XLVI, PT I