effort to carry the ford by the other two divisions of the 9th Corps—The prospects of success are not at all flattering but I think the attempt can be made without any very disastrous result, and we may possibly succeed we did not get into the position last night until after night fall so that we knew nothing of the nature of the ground and it would of been impossible to make an intelligent attack at daylight—The Enemysside of the river is densely wooded, along its banks, with high ground in rear with one battery in position flanked by rifle pits, and it is reported that there is another line of rifle pits in front—The ford is said to be about knee deep I think we can approach very near to it on this side under cover The men are now being placed in the woods, and in a few minutes we shall have 18 guns bearing on the enemy's battery—" LS, DNA, RG 108, Letters Received. O. R., I, xxxvi, part 3, 166.
On May 23, 3:00 P. M., Lt. Col. Orville E. Babcock wrote to Burnside. "The lieutenant-general commanding desires you to follow General Hancock with your corps. The bearer will show you the road." Ibid., p. 133. At 9:00 P. M., Burnside telegraphed to USG. "Genl Wilcox Division is in position at Oxford ford with pickets connecting with Genl Hancock—We have not yet been able to connect with the pickets of Genl Warren Genl Crittendens Division is in the rear of Genl Wilcox, and Genl Potter's Division which came in a few moments ago is placed on the right hand side of the telegraph road in the rear of Genl Crittenden My Head Qrs are immediately on the right of Genl Potters Division it can be found by coming down the Telegraph roads about¼ of a mile this side of Carmel Church at the end of the woods then across the open space to the right about Six or Seven hundred yards, to the only house in sight—" Copies, DNA, RG 393, Army of the Potomac, Telegrams Sent; ibid., 9th Army Corps, Telegrams Sent. O. R., I, xxxvi, part 3, 134.
Headquarters of the Army
Moncure House Va. May 23rd 1864. 2. P. M.
MAJ GEN MEADE
COMD'G A. P.
The 2nd Corps will proceed to suitable Camping ground on the banks of North Anna near to New Bridge which is the crossing of the Telegraph road over the Anna. If possible the bridge and crossing will be secured. This Corps will also extend east to hold the rail road bridge. The 9th Corps will take position to the right of the 2nd Corps, and will seize Ox Ford, a ford over the Anna next west of New Bridge. If practicable this ford will also be held—The 5th Corps will occupy the bank of the river to cover