CITY POINT, VA., February 7, 1865-Noon.
(Received 1.30 p.m.)
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
Washington, D. C.:
I will be in Washington on Thursday or Friday next. Please notify the Committee on the Conduct of the War. I will be obliged to you also if you will notify Mr. Washburne.
U. S. GRANT,
(Copy furnished by Halleck by Halleck to Honorable B. F. Wade and Honorable E. B. Washburne.)
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
February 7, 1863-10.15 a.m. (Sent 10.50 a.m.)
Warren reports at 7.30 a.m. everything quiet in his front. The character of the weather to-day, and the ignorance I am under of the exact moral condition of Warren's corps, and his losses from stragglers, has restrained me from giving him positive orders to attack; but I have directed him to push out strong reconnaissance, 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 day, but my suggestion was to a permanent line, with redoubts.
GEO. G. MEADE,
CITY POINT, VA., February 7, 1865-11.30 a.m.
The idea I intended to convey was that we should hold permanently out to Hatcher's Run, fortifying as you think best, but destroying no works already made. Then when we came to make a general move against the enemy, we would hold our present lines, and abandon all the new works outside of them. You have been over the ground where our troops now are, and I have not. Take up such line for permanent occupation as you think will best secure our purposes. I thought likely we should hold from our present left to Armstrong's Mill. The cavalry could then picket down Hatcher's Run and cover our rear easier than at present. In view of the bad weather the troops had better be