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‘ [464] have fallen on the enemy's rear, as they were pursuing Ayres and Crawford.’ 1

In the midst of this important battle, Grant was looking anxiously for news from North Carolina, and in the same dispatch to Sheridan, he said: ‘I would like you to get information from the Weldon road. I understand the enemy have some infantry and a brigade of cavalry at Stony creek station; I think it possible, too, that Johnston may be brought up that road to attack us in rear. They will see now that Sherman has halted at Goldsboro, and may think they can leave Raleigh with a small force.’

There was a delay of several hours before the Fifth corps was ready, and Meade evidently shared the feeling in regard to Warren that was entertained by Sheridan and Grant.2 ‘You know,’ he said to Humphreys, ‘the difficulty of getting two brigades to advance simultaneously. Miles has done handsomely in relieving Warren, and I should be glad to see him take the enemy's line. But if this is dependent on a simultaneous movement, past experience bids me despair.’ At 2.50 P. M., becoming impatient, Meade sent word by his chief of staff to Warren: ‘Since Miles is already well forward from your right flank, the general commanding considers that that must be secure. Miles is ordered to take the enemy's works, supported by his own corps. You will see the necessity of moving as soon as possible.’

But Warren never seemed to appreciate the tremendous importance, in battle, of time. He elaborated,

1 Grant was unaware that Sheridan at this time was himself heavily engaged.

2 See vol. II., page 177.

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G. K. Warren (4)
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