“I have ordered General Hancock to withdraw from the north side of the river to-night”

The object of Gen. Hancock’s demonstration north of the James being accomplished, I have ordered him back.  I hope to use his troops to reinforce Warren’s position on the Weldon Railroad.  I wrote Gen. Meade,

CITY POINT, VA., August 20, 1864 – 1.10 p. m.

Major-General MEADE, Commanding, &c.:

I have ordered General Hancock to withdraw from the north side of the river to-night and move back to his old position. When there you can send him to the support of Warren with the other brigade of Gregg’s cavalry. If the enemy comes out to attack, we will have the advantage of position. If they hold their lines only and persist in sending more troops to the Valley we can extend still farther. I am not so particular abut holding the Weldon road permanently as I am to destroy it effectually, and to force the enemy to attack us, with advantages on our side. Two hundred railroad men with Hancock were ordered yesterday to report to Warren. They must be near there now, and will destroy more railroad in a day than a division of troops.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

 

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 51-2

O.R., I, xlii, part 2, p 327

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