During the reconnaissance which preceded the battle, Garfield chose Graveyard Point, the high ridge opposite Spurlock Creek, as his command post.
In a letter to his wife, Lucretia, written several days after the battle, Garfield says:
"We moved slowly up Middle Creek, feeling our way by sending scouts on the hills on each side of the creek. As we passed around a point of hill, where a plain stretched away before us, two or three hundred of their cavalry dashed out toward us but soon fell back behind a ridge which ran near half way across the valley. The Confederates seemed to be posted behind the ridge in force and their officers rode up on its point and looked at us through their glasses."
Suspecting that a large enemy force was waiting for him behind the ridge, Garfield ordered his personal escort of ten cavalrymen to dash into the valley (1) and draw their fire. When they did, a volley from Clay's company of the 1st Kentucky Cavalry convinced him that the Confederates occupied the position in strength.
"I immediately ran up Graveyard Point to the rock (A), an isolated crag which gave me a splendid prospect of the plain and all the hills," wrote Garfield. After viewing the Confederate position with his field glasses, he ordered two Kentucky companies to advance along
Graveyard Point ridge toward the enemy and ordered two companies under Captain F.A. Williams to ford Middle Creek and advance toward the enemy along the ridge bordering the south side of the creek.
This rough map drawn by Garfield, which was included in his letter to his wife, shows "rock (A)" on Graveyard Point, the location of his command post. It also shows the routes taken by the various Union assault parties when they charged the Confederate position.
The map at right shows the location of Graveyard Point (top center), Garfield's command post during the battle. Arrows indicate the routes the Union troops took when assaulting the Confederate line. Piney Point, the spur used by Major Pardee's troops when they attacked the position held by the 29th Virginia, can be seen at lower right center.