port Ford, the main wagon train to be followed by Burnside, via Alsop, Gate, Anderson, Smith's Mill, Stannard's Mill, Mud Tavern, Round Oak Church and Childsburg—Each Corps to have a pontoon train. No guards for the main wagon trains from Corps, but disabled and extra duty men. The Cavalry has all been cut loose from the main Command, and directed to make its way to the James River and Communicate with Gen Butler—Your line of march will therefore be as hereinbefore indicated—with two divisions of your white troops in advance of main wagon trains, and the remaining two divisions in rear of the trains. The white, troops will form the rear guard. The greatest vigilance should be exercised in the protection of these trains and the keeping of them well up." "It has been definitely ascertained that Longstreets Corps—at least two divisions of it—are at Spottsylvania. Warrens whole Corps has engaged it. Sedgwick has been ordered up with a view of crushing it if possible. This leaves no troops at this place." "You will move forward to Childsburg the moment you can get the trains started. If you can find another road in supporting distance of the one you have been directed to move on, & by which other troops have not been ordered to march, so as to double your troops, you will do so—" Copies, DLC-USG, V, 45, 59, 66; DNA, RG 108, Letters Sent. O. R., I, xxxvi, part 2, 546-47.
At 4:20 P. M., Lt. Col. Orville E. Babcock wrote to Rawlins. "General Burnside wishes to know whether a pontoon train has been ordered to report to him with engineers. He says he will follow the trains as quick as they can move. I shall start for headquarters in a little while, unless something turns up to keep me here." Ibid., p. 547. Rawlins endorsed this letter to Burnside. "I have sent pontoon trains in the train you convoy, but you will not need one." Ibid.
At 7:30 P. M., Rawlins wrote to Burnside. "Dispose of your command so as to most easily and effectually to guard the trains in your convoy, and at the same time be in readiness on receipt of orders to send two Divisions of Infantry to help drive the enemy from Spottsylvania C. H. where he appears to have made a stand in very considerable force—" Copies, DLC-USG, V, 45, 59, 66; DNA, RG 108, Letters Sent. O. R., I, xxxvi, part 2, 547.
Near Spotsylvania Court House
1 p m May 9th 1864
MAJ GEN H W HALLECK
GENL IN CHIEF
If matters are at all favorable with Butler send him all reenforcements you can. 1
Enemy are now moving from our immediate front either to interpose between us and Fredericksburg or to get the inside road to Richmond—