It now appears I was mistaken about the enemy falling back towards Richmond. They seem intent on holding their present line. With our army divided, we are in a precarious position. I wrote Gen. Burnside,
HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES, Jericho Ford, Va., May 24, 1864-8.20 p.m.
Commanding Ninth Corps:
GENERAL: The situation of the enemy appearing so different from what I expected, I do not deem it advisable for you to move your wagon train to the south side of the river to-night, or not any more of it than may now be on the south side. The enemy holding the south bank of the river at Ox Ford, I think it important that you should hold the north side of the same place. You will, therefore, leave at least a battery, supported by a regiment of infantry, well stationed for that purpose. I understand you are moving two divisions to connect with Hancock, and one above Ox Ford to connect with Warren. This will be the best arrangement that can be adopted, and if it is not already carried out you will carry it out at once. Bridges will be laid above and below the point on the river held by the enemy, and as near to it as possible, to-morrow morning, and roads opened between them, so as to bring our right and left as near supporting distance as possible. The only portion of this work you will be charged with will be opening the road near the river between the two bridges. The upper bridge will be laid near Quarles’ Mills. The place for the lower one cannot be determined to-night. It may not be practicable to lay a bridge above the one Hancock now has. You may, therefore, regard the points to be connected by new roads as being that bridge and Quarles’ Mills.
U. S. GRANT,
To the North Anna River, Gordon Rhea
O.R., I, xxxvi, part 3, p 168-9