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[443] the trenches between Ord and Parke, awaiting the turn of events.

The troops were to start with four days rations in haversacks and eight days in wagons, and that Ord might have the same amount of supplies as Meade, he was directed to accumulate rations in advance along the road, and fill up his trains in passing. Sixty rounds of ammunition per man were to be taken in wagons, and as much grain as the trains could carry. The densely wooded character of the country prevented the use of a large artillery force, and not more than six or eight guns were allowed to a division, at the option of army commanders.

The forces of Parke and Wright were to be massed and ready to attack in case the enemy weakened his line in their front, and Weitzel also was instructed to keep vigilant watch, and to break through at any point where it might prove at all practicable. ‘A success north of the James,’ said Grant, ‘should be followed up with great promptness;’ but he added: ‘An attack will not be feasible, unless it is found that the enemy has detached largely. In that case, it may be regarded as evidence that the enemy are relying upon their local reserves,1 principally, for the defence of Richmond.’

‘By these instructions,’ continued the generalin-chief, ‘a large part of the armies operating against Richmond is left behind. The enemy, knowing this, may, as an only chance, strip their lines to the merest skeleton, in the hope of advantage not being taken of it, whilst they hurl everything against the moving column, and return. It cannot be impressed too strongly upon commanders left in the trenches, not

1 See note to page 439.

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John G. Parke (2)
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