On this day 150 years ago, Ulysses S. Grant ordered Ambrose Burnside to bring his command, the IX Corps, forward to join the Army of the Potomac. As the Spring campaign season neared, Grant had begun to concentrate his forces for the drive south to Richmond.
CULPEPER COURT-HOUSE, VA., April 23, 1864.
Major General A. E. BURNSIDE,
Commanding Ninth Army Corps:
March your troops with as little delay as possible, taking position from Bull Run to the Rappahannock, so as to perfectly guard the road between the two streams and relieve the troops now there, so as to enable them to come to the front and join the corps to which they have been assigned. Get forward to the troops as rapidly as possible all their transportation and supplies to the 2nd of May, inclusive. When this is done send forward to Brandy Station a competent assistant quartermaster and commissary of subsistence to take charge of stores. Forward also troops of your own, a brigade, if you think proper, to guard your stores at that place. Have brought up there fifteen days' rations and ten days' forage of grain alone, to be held for use after your march from there. All supplies that you use whilst on the railroad is to be independent of these supplies. Of the fifteen days' supplies to be carried with you but four will be pork or bacon; the remainder will be beef on the hoof. Your men must carry seven days' rations without meat in haversacks and knapsacks. Baggage must be reduced to nothing in wagons, or as near to that standard as possible, all the transportation being reserved so far as possible for provisions and ordnance stores. One hundred and fifty rounds of ammunition per man will be the amount required to be carried on the person and in wagons together. If it can be avoided, no ammunition should be carried on the person, except what can be put in the cartridge-boxes.
For the sake of uniformity you should adopt about the same orders governing transportation that General Meade has. I have no copy of his order on the subject, but will have one sent to you. Further details and instructions will be furnished you after your troops are in position.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
U. S. GRANT,