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9 Series I Volume XXXVI-I Serial 67 - Wilderness-Cold Harbor Part I

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Page 9 Chapter XLVIII. GENERAL REPORTS.

near to the enemy. To make a direct attack from either wing would cause a slaughter of our men that even success would not justify. To turn the enemy by his right, between the two Annas, is impossible on account of the swamp upon which his right rests. To turn him by his left leaves Little River, New Found River, and South Anna River, all of them streams presenting considerable obstacles to the movement of an army, to be crossed. I have determined, therefore, to turn the enemy's right by crossing at or near Hanovertown. This crosses all these streams at once, and leaves us still where we can draw supplies. During the night last night the teams and artillery, not in position, belonging to the right wing of our army, and one division of that wing were quietly withdrawn to the north bank of the river and moved down to the rear of the left. As soon as it is dark this division, with most of the cavalry, will commence a forced march for Hanovertown to seize and hold the crossing. the balance of the right wing will withdraw at the same hour and follow as rapidly as possible. The left wing will also withdraw from the south bank of the river to-night and follow in rear of the right wing. Lee's army is really whipped. The prisoners we now take show it, and the action of his army shows it unmistakably. A battle with them outside of entrenchments cannot be had. Our men feel that they have gained the morale over the enemy and attack with confidence. I may be mistaken, but I feel that our success over Lee's army is already insured. The promptness and rapidity with which you have forwarded re-enforcements have contributed largely to the feeling of confidence inspired in our men and to break down that of the enemy.

We are destroying all the rails we can on the Central and Fredericksburg roads. I want to leave a gap in the roads north of Richmond so big that to get a single track they will have to import rails from elsewhere.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

Major-General HALLECK,

Washington.

P. S. - Even if a crossing is not effected at Hanovertown it will probably be necessary for us to move on down the Pamunkey until a crossing is effected. I think it advisable, therefore, to change our base or supplies from Port Royal to the White House. I wish you would direct this change at once, and also direct Smith to put the railroad bridge there in condition for crossing troops and artillery, and leave men to hold it.

U. S. G.

HANOVERTOWN, VA., May 29, 1864.

(Received 11.20 a. m., 30th.)

The army has been successfully crossed over the Pamunkey and now occupies a front about 3 miles south of the river. Yesterday two divisions of our cavalry had a severe engagement with the enemy south of Harris' [Haw's] Store, driving him about a mile upon what appears to be his new line. We will find out all about it to-day. Our


Page 9 Chapter XLVIII. GENERAL REPORTS.

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