Headqrs Armies of the United States
Near Spottsylvania May 17th/64
MAJ GEN BURNSIDE
COMD'G 9TH A. C.
If the Div. of reinforcements under Genl Tyler arrive tonight as is expected an attack will be made at 4 a. m. tomorrow morning to the left of the position now held by Warren's Corps. Hancocks and Wrights Corps will commence the attack and Warren's Corps will support batteries which will be established during the night—I want you to hold your command in readiness to move out of their present place at half past three in the morning to move by the left flank to follow up the two attacking Corps and support them. If you move leave your pickets, to remain until driven in or recalled—
I will let you know in the evening if the attack is to be made. Send out some of your Staff officers to reconnoitre the roads over which you will have to pass when you do move, and parties to make such repairs or new roads as may be required—
My Hdqrs will be removed in the course of an hour or so to near the Anderson House
U. S. GRANT
P. S. —I have just received news from Sherman. On the 15th he had whipped J. Johnston with a loss of 3,000 men on our side. Sherman was then crossing the Oostenaula. Johnston has evidently given up.
U. S. G.
Copies (incomplete), DLC-USG, V, 45, 59, 66; DNA, RG 108, Letters Sent. O. R., I, xxxvi, part 2, 849-50. On May 17, 1864, 7:40 P. M., Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside telegraphed to USG. "According to your instructions of this morning further instructions were to be sent to me this evening. Is the programme spoken of to be carried out? If" Copy (incomplete), DNA, RG 393, 9th Army Corps, Telegrams Sent. A notation "no" may indicate that the telegram was never completed or sent. A telegram of the same date, 6:15 P. M., from Burnside to Brig. Gen. John A. Rawlins is marked "Not Sent." Copy, ibid.