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[465] and developed, and prepared, as carefully and cautiously and deliberately in the immediate presence of the enemy as if there was nothing else to do, and, while he was preparing and looking out for his flanks, the moment in which victory was possible usually slipped away. During all the operations of the 30th and 31st of March, he had given great dissatisfaction to Grant. He seemed never to comprehend his instructions until they were repeated and explained, and then he generally disapproved them, and thought they should be modified, or that some one else on either flank should be ordered to do something else before he obeyed. His reports and dispatches were full of suggestions for the movements of other commanders and objections to those he was himself directed to undertake.1 He had been

1 ‘You must act independently of Sheridan, and, protecting your flanks, extend to the left as far as possible. If the enemy comes out and turns your left, you must attack him. You will be supported with all the available force to be procured.’—Webb to Warren, March 30, 7.50 A. M. ‘If I extend my line to the left as far as possible, using both Ayres and Crawford, if the enemy turns my left, what will I then have to attack with?’—Warren to Webb, March 30, 8.30 A. M.

‘It will be necessary that Ayres should be put on his guard, and that he should be reinforced without delay, as the enemy may attack him at daylight.’—Webb to Warren, March 30, 11 P. M. ‘I directed the advance of General Ayres to be reinforced at daylight, as it could not be done in the night without a great consumption of time, and loss of rest to the men.’—Warren's Report.

‘I have my command all in readiness, but my advance is so far ahead of General Humphreys, and in sight of the enemy across the open ground, that I do not think it advisable to attempt anything more northward until General Humphreys gets into position on my right. My left, on the plank road, cannot be extended with propriety till I can get some idea of General Sheridan's movements, and now rests on Gravelly run, and, if I move, will be in the air. . . I can not move forward, and it does not appear a favorable place in front of Griffin.’—Warren to Webb, March 30, 5.50 A. M.

‘I do not think it best to advance any further till General Miles gets into position on my right.’—Warren to Humphreys, March 30.

Major-General Meade directs you to move up the Quaker road to Gravelly run crossing.’—Webb to Warren, March 29, 10.20 A. M. ‘I think my skirmishers are out on the Quaker road as far as Gravelly run.’—Warren to Webb. ‘From your last dispatch the major-general commanding would infer that you did not understand the last order.’—Webb to Warren, March 29, 12 M. ‘I did not understand, till Captain Emory came, that I was to move my corps up the Quaker road.’—Warren to Webb, March 29.

‘The roads and fields are getting too bad for artillery, and I do not believe General Sheridan can operate advantageously. If General Humphreys is able to straighten out his line between my right and the vicinity of the Crow house, he will hold it in pretty strong force; but the woods are so bad they alone will keep him nearly all day finding out how matters stand.’—Warren to Webb, March 30.

‘This dispatch placed me in much perplexity. I had already stated that I could not extend further with safety to my remaining in position, yet this dispatch required me to extend further, and yet did not define how far nor for what object. I had no desire but to comply with instructions, but leaving the limit of extension discretionary with me, while being dissatisfied with my use of this discretion, and requiring me to extend further, and not saying how far, was most embarrassing. The fault of these unlimited extensions were,’ etc., etc. [Then follows a long criticism of the strategy of his superior officers.] —Warren's Report.

‘It did seem to me that on General Meade's receiving this dispatch, he should have signified to me whether or not I was to extend my left so as to cross the White Oak road; if not, how far I should extend it. . . .But General Meade so far differed in judgment with me,’ etc., etc.—Warren's Report.

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