War of the Rebellion: Serial 108 Page 1163 Chapter LXIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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SPECIAL ORDERS,

HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Numbers - May 14, 1864.

The First Regiment Vermont Artillery assigned to the Sixth Corps, and will report accordingly this evening.

By command of Major-General Meade:

S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

[36.]

SPECIAL ORDERS,

HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Numbers 137.

May 17, 1864.

1. The organization known as the Corcoran Legion (Tyler's division), Colonel Murphy commanding, consisting of the following regiments, viz, Sixty-ninth New York State Militia, One hundred and fifty-fifth, One hundred and sixty-fourth, and one hundred and seventieth New York Volunteers, is assigned to the Second Army Corps, and will be reported accordingly.

* * * * * * *

By command of Major-General Meade:

S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

[36.]

HEADQUARTERS TENTH ARMY CORPS,

In the Field, near Hatcher's, Va., May 17, 1864.

Major General B. F. BUTLER,

Commanding Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina,

Headquarters in the Field:

GENERAL: I inclose you a document marked A,* which is a copy of the written order for me to fall back yesterday morning. It bears date 9.30. Lieutenant-Colonel Kensel, of your staff, delivered to me verbally the same order in substance. At the time the order was received, my command was moving to the right and front to connect with General Smith and strike the enemy in flank. My troops had been disposed for assault, and the head of Turner's column had already been hotly engaged. Three assaults upon Hawlely's brigade of Terry's division had been successfully repulsed and my command was moving to the attack in accordance with your orders and the discretion left with me by your indorsement on my dispatch of 7.25 a. m. As soon as I got the order to fall back I stopped advancing and made dispositions accordingly, selecting the two roads between railroad and pike to retire in. I then sent you the following dispatch:

I am falling back on two roads between railroad and pike.

During the hour subsequent to the time when I received the first order to fall back I received several urgent dispatches from your headquarters, some writtem and some verbal, directing me to hurry my retrograde movement, all based upon crroneous reports of the movements of the enemy elsewhere. You charged me yesterday with having commenced falling back without orders, while in fact several peremptory orders to retire were sent me, and when I got the first one I was advancing to the attack with no intention of retiring; was at the time hotly engages with the enemy and gaining ground every

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* See VOL. XXXVI, Part II, p. 39.

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