from that source and if Sigel can destroy the road there it will be of vast importance to us. The weather is still cloudy & threatening, as if the rain was not yet over." Telegram received, DNA, RG 107, Telegrams Collected (Bound); copies (misdated May 18), ibid., RG 108, Letters Sent; DLC-USG, V, 45, 59, 66. Dated May 17 in O. R., I, xxxvi, part 2, 840; ibid., I, xxxvii, part 1, 475. On the same day, 11:30 P. M., Halleck telegraphed to USG. "Sheridan has anticipated your orders & moves to day on his return to Army of the Potomac. All the horses we can collect will be put in the hands of veteran cavalry men & sent to Army of the Potomac. I have sent the substance of your despatch to Genl Sigel. Instead of advancing on Staunton he is already in full retreat on Strausburg. If you expect anything from him you will be mistaken. He will do nothing but run. He never did anything else. The Secty of War proposes to put Genl Hunter in his place. Send him up immediately. Bridges at Harpers Ferry carried away. I have sent Pontons to day to replace them Butler has fallen back to day. Dont rely on him. Sherman is doing well. I will push forward rail road from Aquia creek with all possible despatch. More reinforcements will leave here to-morrow. I will run them up in a few days from twenty five to thirty thousand." ALS (telegram sent), DNA, RG 107, Telegrams Collected (Bound); telegram received, ibid.; ibid., RG 108, Letters Received. O. R., I, xxxvi, part 2, 840-41.
Hd. Qrs. Armies of the United States
Near Spottsylvania C. H., May 17, 1864
MAJ GEN. BURNSIDE
COMD'G 9TH ARMY CORPS
A reconnoisance of the ground over which it was intended to attack to-morrow morning proves the ground entirely impracticable to pass troops over. The attack therefore will not be made as ordered. In lieu of that Hancock and Wright will move back during the night to the old position of the 2d Corps and attack there at 4 A. M. in the morning. Warren will commence with his Artillery, which is so placed as to enfilade the enemy's rifle-pits in your front, being prepared however to follow Hancock and Wright, if they should succeed in breaking through or to strengthen Warren if they enemy should move on him
U. S. GRANT, Lieut Gen.
Copies, DLC-USG, V, 45, 59, 66; DNA, RG 108, Letters Sent. O. R., I, xxxvi, part 2, 850.