n the 22nd Gregg was assailed by Wade Hampton with one of his cavalry divisions, and a sharp contest ensued.
General Hampton, from the battlefield of the 22nd, sent a note to General R. E. Lee, suggesting an immediate attack with infantry.
That great commander, realizing that a favorable opportunity was offered to strike Hancock a heavy blow, directed Lieutenant-General A. P. Hill to advance against him as promptly as possible.
General Hill left his camp near Petersburg on the night of the 24th, and marching south halted near Armstrong's Mill, about eight miles from Petersburg.
On the morning of the 25th he advanced to Monk's Neck Bridge, three miles from Ream's station, and awaited advice from Hampton.
The Confederate force actually present at Ream's station, consisted of Cooke's and MacRae's brigades of Heth's divisions, Lane's, Scales' and McGowan's brigades of Wilcox's division, Anderson's brigade of Longstreet's corps, two brigades of Mahone's division, Butler's and W. H. F.