I am directing our armies to make a move to the left in an attempt to capture the South Side railroad, one of the vital rail links to Petersburg. I wrote Gen. Meade,
HDQRS. ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES,
City Point, Va., October 24, 1864.
Major General G. G. MEADE,
Commanding Army of the Potomac:
GENERAL: Make your preparations to march out at an early hour on the 27th to gain possession of the South Side Railroad, and to hold it and fortify back to your present left. In commencing your advance, move in three columns exactly as proposed by yourself in our conversation of least evening, and with the same force you proposed to take. Parke, who starts out nearest to the enemy,should be instructed that if he finds the enemy intrenched and their works well manned, he is not to attack but confront him, and be prepared to advance promptly when he finds that by the movement of the other two columns to the right and rear of them they begin to give way. Take three days’ rations in haversacks, sixty rounds of ammunition on the person of each soldier, and go as near as possible without wagons or ambulances. It might be well to have, say, twenty rounds of ammunition per man,
with a corresponding amount of artillery ammunition in wagons ready to be taken to the army if required.
All the depots on the line of the road should be cleared of stores, and all wagons, ambulances, and artillery horses not moving with the army sent back to City Point during the night of the 26th.
I will go out to the left at an early hour of the morning your move commences.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
U. S. GRANT,
The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 343-4
O.R., I, xlii, part 3, p 317-8