Quarles Mills, Va. May 26th/64
MAJ. GEN. HALLECK, WASHINGTON,
The relative positions of the two Armies is now as follows. Lee's right rests on a swamp East of the Richmond & Fredericksburg road and South of N. Anna, his center on the river at Ox Ford and his left on Little river with the crossings of Little River guarded as far up as we have gone. Hancock with his Corps, and one Division of the 9th Corps, crossed at Chesterfield Ford and covers the right wing of Lees Army. One Division of the 9th Corps is on the North bank of the Anna, at Ox Ford, with bridges above and below at points nearest to it where both banks are held by us, so that it could reinforce either wing of our Army with equal facility. The 5th & 6th Corps, with one Division of the 9th Corps, run from the south bank of the Anna, from a short distance above Ox Ford, to little river, and paralel with and 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 Anna's, 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, have to be crossed. I have determined therefore to turn the enemy's right by crossing at or near Hanover Town. 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and Artillery not in position, belonging to the right wing of our Army, and one Division of that Wing, was quietly withdrawn to the North bank of the river and moved down to the rear of the left.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 Hanover Town, to sieze and hold the crossing. The balance of the right wing will withdraw at the same hour
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Publication information: Book title: The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant: January 1 - May 31, 1864. Volume: 10. Contributors: John Y. Simon - Editor, Ulysses S. Grant - Author. Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press. Place of publication: Carbondale, IL. Publication year: 1982. Page number: 490.
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