of the river and at Bermuda Hundred
To the force which Sheridan
had brought from the Valley
, was added the cavalry of the army of the Potomac, under Crook
, and eventually about fifteen hundred troopers belonging to Ord
. It was then reported to the general-in-chief
could move with sixty thousand effective men, Ord
with seventeen thousand, and Sheridan
with twelve thousand; in all about ninety thousand soldiers.
This was Grant
's disposable force.
The object of the operation was announced to the principal commanders in identical language.
‘On the 29th instant,’ said Grant
, ‘the armies operating against Richmond
will be moved by our left, for the double purpose of turning the enemy out of his present position around Petersburg
, and to ensure the success of the cavalry under General Sheridan
, . . . in its effort to reach and destroy the Southside
and Danville roads.’
First of all, Ord
was to proceed on the night of the 27th, to the left of the army of the Potomac, and relieve the Second corps, now under the command of Humphreys
On the morning of the 29th, Warren
were to move in two columns, taking the roads crossing Hatcher
's run nearest the national lines, and both marching at first in a south-westerly direction.
At the same time Sheridan
, advancing by the Weldon
plank roads far enough south to avoid the infantry, was to pass through Dinwiddie
, and then turn to the north and west against the right and rear of the enemy.
The Sixth corps would remain in