assault were made as had been previously made for the assault ordered for the morning of the 31st. At 9.50 p.m. orders were received by telegraph from General Meade directing me to at once open with all the artillery in my front, push forward skirmishers, and follow them with columns of assault. While arrangements were being made to carry out these orders they were modified by further instructions withdrawing the orders for instant attack, and making assault contingent on developments of weakness on the part of the enemy. We opened artillery and threw forward a strong skirmish line along the whole front. The enemy was found prepared and in full force with the exception of in front of the Second Brigade, Second Division, Brigadier General S. G. Griffin's, between Forts Hays and Howard, when General Griffin, by a well-planned rush, succeeded in surprising and capturing about half a mile of the enemy's picket-line, taking prisoners 8 officers and 241 men, but further movements disclosed the enemy's main line well manned and on the alert. The demonstration developed no apparent change in the force in our front either of artillery or infantry.
In accordance with instructions to carry out the original orders to assault at 4 a.m. on April 2 the captured line was abandoned. By 1 a.m. the firing had all quieted down, and the concentration of troops for the attack was well under way. To the right of the Jerusalem plank road running through Fort Sedgwick, Hartranft's division was massed in rear of the fort-Willcox's First Brigade, his left one, Colonel Samuel Harriman commanding, was massed on Hartranft's right. The Fifty-first Pennsylvania Volunteers being left in the works to hold the brigade line, Colonel Harriman was ordered to report to General Hartranft. Potter's (Second) division was massed on Hartranft's left, to the left of the plank road. At 3 a.m. I established my headquarters at Fort Rice, and at the same time Generals Potter and Hartranft formed the assaulting column between our main line and picket-line without alarming the enemy, whose picket-line was in close proximity. The assaulting force was in column of regiments in the following order: On the right of the Jerusalem plank road with left resting on the road, the Third Division, the advance regiments being the Two hundred and seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers, Colonel Cox commanding; followed by the Two hundred and fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers, Major Morrow commanding; the Two hundred and eleventh Pennsylvania, Colonel Dodd commanding, and the Two hundred and eighth Pennsylvania, Lieutenant-Colonel Heintzelman commanding; the two remaining regiments of the division, the Two hundred and Two hundred and ninth Pennsylvania, were held as reserve behind the works. On the right of this column was Harriman's brigade of the First Division in the following order: Thirty-eighth Wisconsin, Colonel Bintliff commanding; One hundred and ninth New York, Lieutenant-Colonel Pier commanding, and the Eighth Michigan Volunteers, Major Doyle commanding. The remaining regiments of the brigade, the Twenty-seventh Michigan and Thirty-seventh Wisconsin, remained in reserve in rear of the right with Hartranft's division, Potter's division, was formed, Griffin's brigade in the advance, supported by Curtin's brigade. Six regiments from the division were left to garrison the forts on its line. Storming parties, accompanied by pioneers provided with axes to clear away the abatis and chevaux-de-frise, preceded each column. Details of artillery-men to work any guns that might be captured were also in readiness.
With the view of leading the enemy astray as to the real point of attack I directed General Willcox to make a strong demonstration on