These troops would have been immediately ordered up; but the staff-officer stated that before he could possibly get back with the order Wilcox's division would have passed, so that nothing would be gained.
Orders, therefore, were given to Colonel McAllister, commanding the force of Mott's division, to hold well down the plankroad, in anticipation of any attempt of the enemy's cavalry to pass to our rear.
An order was also sent to him to arrest all stragglers and form them into regiments.
This order, it appears, was handed by the orderly bearing it to General Wilcox, who, not observing the address to Colonel McAllister, opened the order, and thinking it addressed to him, deployed a part of his division to arrest and form the stragglers from the battlefield.
How much delay was caused by this error is not known; but it is known that the division, in any event, would not have arrived in time to be of service.
Report of Reams' Station.
Thus affairs stood when night fell, and Hanco