“You may now correct and strengthen your line and advance no farther”

Gen. Meade wrote,

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Globe Tavern, October 1, 1864-2.30 p. m.

Lieutenant-General GRANT,
Deep Bottom or City Point:

Ayres, this morning at 8 a. m., repulsed the attack made by the enemy. Since then Crawford’s pickets, on the Weldon railroad, have been felt and the signal officer has seen the enemy filing into their works across and to the right of this road. Prisoners and deserters report positively Wilcox, Heth, and part of Mahone as present; also bodies of dismounted cavalry, Dearing’s brigade, and perhaps other portions of Hampton’s command. Gregg, who was ordered up to Warren’s left, on withdrawing, was attacked. He repulsed the attack, and is now ordered to fight their cavalry as long as they show fight, and then to join us or send such parts as he can spare. One of the prisoners told me he had seen a column of Ninth Corps men going into Petersburg, said to be 700 in number, and I fear from what I hear it is true. They were taken when Potter was driven back. Mott’s division is now arriving by rail and going forward. I shall see Warren and Parke and then determine what I will do, being most desirous to attack unless I should not deem it judicious to do so. It is raining hard and roads east of Weldon railroad getting bad.

GEO. G. MEADE,

Major-General.

 

We have managed to make some progress.  However, it appears that the rebels have regained their balance.  We will entrench to hold on to the gains we have made.  I wrote Meade,

JUNCTION VARINA AND NEW MARKET [ROADS], October 1, 1864.

Major-General MEADE:

Prisoners have been captured here from Heth’s division. General Butler is of the opinion that it has gone back, however. You may now correct and strengthen your line and advance no farther unless a very favorable chance presents itself. A reconnaissance of two brigades of infantry and Kautz’s cavalry now out on the Central road and probably at this time within five miles of Richmond.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 256

O.R., I, xlii, part 3, p 5

“The enemy assaulted General Butler’s line … three times yesterday afternoon, and were repulsed each time”

I wrote Gen. Halleck,

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Washington, D. C.

CITY POINT, VA., October 1, 1864-10 a. m.

The enemy assaulted General Butler’s line north of the James River three times yesterday afternoon, and were repulsed each time, General Butler reports, with heavy loss. Late in the evening Potter’s division, Ninth Corps, whilst moving to get to the left of Warren, near Poplar Spring Church, was vigorously assaulted by a superior force and driven back until re-enforced by Griffin’s division, when the enemy were checked, General Meade thinks, with heavy loss. Potter lost from his division a considerable number killed, wounded, and captured. The enemy are now threatening our left in considerable force. Our line extends full two miles west of the Weldon railroad with the left turned back. The troops entrenched themselves during the night.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 251-2

O.R., I, xlii, part 2, p 21

“We must be greatly superior the enemy in numbers on one flank or the other”

I received this dispatch from Gen. Meade,

HEADQUARTERS FIFTH ARMY CORPS,
September 30, 1864-9 p. m.

Lieutenant-General GRANT:

About 4 p. m. General Parke was advancing to the Boydton Plank road when he was vigorously attacked by the enemy, said by prisoners to have been two divisions of Hill’s corps. Potter’s division, Ninth Corps, was forced back, requiring Hartranft, on his left, to retire a short distance. Warren sent Griffin to Parke’s support and the enemy were checked. Parke has lost in prisoners and wounded left in the advanced position held. The fighting for some time till after dark was very severe, and after the Ninth Cops rallied and Griffin attacked it is believed the enemy suffered heavily. I have directed General Warren to intrench himself in his position and extend if practicable to the Weldon railroad, and General Parke to intrench on Warren’s left. I do not think it judicious to make another advance to-morrow unless re-enforced or some evidence can be obtained of the weakening of the enemy.

GEO. G. MEADE,

Major-General.

I replied,

CITY POINT, VA., September 30, 1864-9.40 p. m.

Major-General MEADE:

You need not advance to-morrow unless in your judgment an advantage can be gained, but hold on to what you have, and be ready to advance. We must be greatly superior the enemy in numbers on one flank or the other, and by working around at each end, we will find where the enemy’s weak point is. General Butler was assaulted three times this afternoon, but repulsed all of them. I will direct him to feel up the Darbytown road to-morrow.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 249

O.R., I, xlii, part 2, p 1121

“I can’t help believing that the enemy are prepared to leave Petersburg if forced a little”

I received the following report from Gen Meade,

HEADQUARTERS FIFTH CORPS,
[September] 30, 1864-2.25 p. m.

Lieutenant-General GRANT:

General Griffin, Warren reports, has carried the enemy’s work on the Peebles farm in handsome style, taking a number of prisoners. Warren is getting his command in position, looking to his connection on the Weldon railroad, and Parke is forming o his left. Gregg rapport the enemy’s cavalry has left his immediate front, and, as far as the can ascertain, are across the twenty Creek. I have directed him to watch the Jerusalem plank road and notified Hancock to have his reserves ready to meet any cavalry demonstrations on the Norfolk or Prince George Court-House roads, where I now have only small cavalry and infantry pickets. Benham must look out for the Old Court-House road.

GEO G. MEADE,

Major-General.

I replied,

HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES,
September 30, 1864.

Major-General MEADE,

Warren’s Headquarters:

If the enemy can be broken and started, follow him up closely. I can’t help believing that the enemy are prepared to leave Petersburg if forced a little.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 248

O.R., I, xlii, part 2, p 1119

“General Meade moved out from his left this morning and must soon encounter the enemy”

So far, I have had no word of fighting on Gen. Meade’s front.  I wrote Gen. Halleck,

CITY POINT, VA., September 30, 1864-10.30 a. m.

Major-General HALLECK,

Washington, D. C.:

I have heard no firing yet this morning. Before daylight I went up to Deep Bottom and found all quiet there. General Meade moved out from his left this morning and must soon encounter the enemy.  Rosser’s brigade of cavalry has gone to join Early. The brigade numbers about 1,400 horses. Yesterday an infantry force left Petersburg in the Lynchburg cars. It may be, however, they are going via Burkeville to Richmond. Nothing heard from Sheridan through southern sources since Tuesday evening.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 242

O.R., I, xlii, part 2, p 1117

“The distance was too great to Richmond or it would have been taken”

Although I told Julia I would not have the opportunity to write, I was able to write her a short letter.

 

City Point, Va. Sept. 29th 1864.

Dear Julia,
I have been out all day on the battle field and well up towards Richmond. Our troops surprised and captured a very long line of strong fortifications and took some fifteen or twenty cannon. The distance was too great to Richmond or it would have been taken. Before morning I presume the enemy will have his fortifications around Richmond well maned and we will have to stay out for the present. Our advance troops were within three miles the last I heard from them,—I have just received your letter written on the blank part of Jennie’s, You [are] right to tell the principal of the school you propose to send the children too that you understand the citizens of Phila are about presenting you with a house and if they [do] you will go there and take the children with you. If I was going to be at home all the time the boys might go to boarding school. But for me and them both to be away will leave you to lonesome. I feel that the time is now near when I shall be able to spend a good part of each week at home. I hope I shall not be disappointed. Good night dear Julia, I shall be very busy to-night and to-morrow to. There will be heavy fighting commencing at daylight in the morning if the enemy do not commence it to-night. I shall attack then south of Petersburg and East of Richmond at that time.
Ulys.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 241

“I will start up to Deep Bottom at 5 a.m. and may be able to judge of the force sent to the north side by the enemy”

With the success of Gen. Butler’s attack today against the enemy’s left, hopefully Lee will shift his forces to oppose him.  If so, our attack on Petersburg may succeed in taking the town. I wrote Gen. Meade,

CITY POINT, VA., September 29, 1864-11.30 p.m.

Major-General MEADE:

You need not move out at daylight in the morning, but be prepared to start at, say, 8 o’clock, if you find the enemy still further reduced,or if ordered. I will start up to Deep Bottom at 5 a.m., and may be able to judge of the force sent to the north side by the enemy. When you do move out I think it will be advisable to maneuver to get a good position from which to attack, and then if the enemy is routed follow him into Petersburg,or where circumstances seem to direct. I do not think it advisable to try to extend our line to the South Side road, uncles a very considerable part of the enemy is drawn across the James, and then only when we are able to withdraw Butler’s force rapidly and it to you.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 240

O.R., I, xlii, part 2, p 1094

“Kautz’s cavalry was in sight of Richmond at last accounts, on the Darbytown road”

Our attack continues to push forward.  I wrote Gen. Halleck,

DEEP BOTTOM, September 29, 1864-4 p.m.

Major-General HALLECK,

Washington:

Kautz’s cavalry was in sight of Richmond at last accounts, on the Darbytown road. A division of infantry has been sent to his support. I did not expect to carry Richmond,but was in hopes of causing the enemy so to weaken the garrison of Petersburg as to be able to carry that place. The great object, however, is to prevent the enemy sending re-enforcements to Early.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 231

O.R., I, xlii, part 2, p 1091

“I am taking steps to prevent Lee sending re-enforcement to Early by attacking him here”

I received a telegram from President Lincoln expressing concern about a renewed rebel push up the Shenandoah Valley.

WASHINGTON, D. C., September 29, 1864-9.40 a.m.

Lieutenant-General GRANT,

City Point, Va.:

I hope it will lay no constraint on you, nor do harm anyway, for me to say I am a little afraid lest Lee sends re-enforcements to Early, and thus enables him to turn upon Sheridan.

A. LINCOLN.

The attack we are currently making should put an end to any chance of Lee weakening his position in Petersburg.  I wrote back,

DEEP BOTTOM, September 29, 1864-1.40 p.m.

President A. LINCOLN:

Your dispatch just received. I am taking steps to prevent Lee sending re-enforcement to Early by attacking him here. Our advance is now within six miles of Richmond and have captured some very strong inclosed forts, some fifteen or more pieces of artillery and several hundred prisoners. Although I have been at the front, I can give no estimate of our losses. About 600 wounded men, however, have been brought in.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 228-9

O.R., I, xlii, part 2, p 1090-1

“General Birney advanced at the same time from Deep Bottom, and carried the New Market road and intrenchments”

Our attacks north of the James River have been very successful so far.  I wrote Gen. Halleck,

CHAFFIN’S FARM, September 29, 1864-10.45 a.m.

Major-General HALLECK,

Washington:

General Ord’s corps advanced this morning and carried the very strong fortifications and long line of intrenchments below Chaffin’s farm, with some 15 pieces of artillery and from 200 to 300 prisoners. General Ord was wounded in the leg, though not dangerously. General Birney advanced at the same time from Deep Bottom, and carried the New Market road and intrenchments and scattered the enemy in every direction toward Richmond. I left General Birney where the Mill road intersects the New Market and Richmond roads. The whole country is filled with field fortifications thus far.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 229

O.R., I, xlii, part 2, p 1091

Battle of New Market Heights

Battle of New Market Heights