Page images
PDF
EPUB

TREE STATION, July 31, 1864-10 a, m. Captain FISHER,

Chief Signal Officer, Headquarters Army of the Potomac : An hour ago the enemy's signal officer reported three large regiments of infantry passing on the road east of Jordan's house, coming from enemy's left center, and going toward City Point;" also "twenty wagons passing on road near Battery 5, going toward City Point." Captain Norton sends this a. m, that the enemy is returning his troops to-day to Petersburg by rail and road. I do not notice the usual activity this a. m. in the enemy's works at Farley's.

CHAS. L. DAVIS,

Captuin, de

JULY 31, 1864–7.30 p. m. Captain FISHER:

A line of smoke and dust has been rising all day above the trees from the Richmond and Petersburg turnpike. Enemy's signal officer reports this p. m. movement of one regiment of infantry from our front in Chesterfield going toward Bermuda Hundred, and seven regiments of infantry with eighty wagons moving from Bermuda Hundred toward Cobb's.

CHAS. L. DAVIS,

Captain, de.

SPECIAL ORDERS,

No. 204,

HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

July 31, 1864.

2. The commanding general having learned that, notwithstanding the stringent instructions given to telegraph operators upon the subject, telegraphic messages are taken off by operators at offices for which such messages are not intended, and their purport communicated to persons to whom they are not addressed, directs that hereafter any officer to whom a message so taken off shall be communicated, either wholly or in part, immediately report to these headquarters the name of the operator who has acquainted him with the tenor of such message, and any officer who receives such prohibited information, and who fails to make the report required, upon such neglect of duty being made known to the commanding general, will be promptly brought to trial upon the charge of disobedience of orders. Any telegraph operator who takes off, either wholly or in part, a message not intended for his office, will be placed in continement and brought to trial for such disobedience of a positive order.

*

5. The acting chief engineer of this army will make such a disposition of the lines of the Fifth and Ninth Corps as will enable them to be held by a diminished force. The commanders of the two corps will

make their lines conform to the project of the acting chief engineer, and will, on his requisition, furnish such fatigue parties and tools as may be necessary to carry the same into effect. By command of Major-General Meade:

S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

ORDERS.]
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

July 31, 1861–12 m. The following changes of troops will be made:

1. As soon as it is dark Major-General Burnside, commanding Ninth Corps, will carry out the orders already given him to relieve all the troops of the Eighteenth Corps that he has retained on his front. He will at the same time extend his troops to the left, and occupy that part of the intrenchments of the Fifth Corps held by a brigade of Cutler's division, relieving that brigade.

2. Major-General Warren, commanding Fifth Corps, will withdraw Cutler's division from the intrenchments now held by one of its brigades upon the arrival of Burnside's troops to relieve them. During the night he will occupy the intrenchments in rear from the plank road to the Norfolk road, relieving the troops of the Second Corps posted there.

3. Major-General Hancock, commanding Second Corps, will hold his corps massed at some central point from which it can be readily directed to the front, flank, or rear, as circumstances may require.

4. The two corps commanders holding the intrenchments will reduce the number of troops holding them to the lowest possible, placing every man not required to complete the line of fire of the front line in reserve in the rear. These troops in reserve will be held prepared for any emergency, the corps commanders keeping in view the contingency of a movement of the enemy on our left rear.

Corps commanders will see that the intrenchments are strengthened wherever it is necessary to enable the number of men holding them to be reduced.to the lowest number, By command of Major-General Meade:

S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS SECOND ÁRMY CORPS,

July 31, 1861–9 a. M. General S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General: My troops are now occupying the same position as when ordered to Deep Bottom.

WINF'D S. HANCOCK,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS SECOND ARMY CORPS,

July 31, 1864. Maj. Gen. G. G. MEADE,

Commanding Army of the Potomac: GENERAL: No engineer or other officer out of my command had anything to do with shortening the line occupied by General Ferrero or

putting up the redoubt on the Williams house road; nor was any sag.
gestion made in the matter to myself or any of my command who had
any agency in the alterations. Had there been sufficient opportunity
I should have had nearly the whole line rebuilt, but, owing to the lack
of time, and so many of my men being on fatigue under the engineer
department, I connected only the most essential points. The changes
that were made were made under my immediate direction or that of my
chief of staff, and the errors in the old line were discovered by me or
pointed out by my staff officers sent out to inspect the line.
Very truly, your obedient servant,

WINF'D S. HANCOCK,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS FIFTH ARMY CORPS,

July 31, 1864. Major-General HANCOCK:

I am ordered to relieve your line on my left to-night, but having available a sufficient force to relieve your picket-line, I am going to do it before dark if I can. Will you give instructions to your troops to allow mine to relieve them as soon as it gets there? The rifle-pits I will relieve early to-morrow, as I expect it will be late to-night before the troops I am to do it with get relieved by General Burnside.

G. K. WARREN,

Major-General.

[ocr errors]

HEADQUARTERS SECOND ARMY CORPS,

July 31, 1964, Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac: GENERAL: General Warren writes me that he will relieve my picketline this evening and the troops at the redoubt near the Norfolk road, The troops in the rifle-pits, he says, he will not be able to relieve till morning. To this arrangement I assented, as the troops in the breastworks can be very easily concentrated. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WINFD S. HANCOCK, Major-General of Volunteers, Commanding.

GENERAL ORDERS,

HDQRS. SECOND ARMY CORPS,
No. 25.

July 31, 1864. The major-general commanding desires to express to the troops his gratification with their conduct during the late movement across the James River. While all the troops who kept their ranks (he regrets to say there were many who did not) and sustained the arduous marches are deserving of praise, the following organizations seem to merit particular mention: The Fifth New Hampshire, Twenty-eighth Massachusetts, One hundred and eighty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers, and

Twenty-sixth Michigan Volunteers, under Colonel Lynch, One hun-
dred and eighty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers, all from General
Miles' brigade, constituting part of the skirmish line of General
Barlow's division, for their gallantry in the capture of the enemy's
battery on the morning of the 27th; and the skirmish line of General
De Trobriand's brigade, General Mott's division, particularly the Ninety-
ninth and One hundred and tenth Pennsylvania Volunteers, for good
conduct and bravery in their severe action on the right of the battery;
and the Twenty-sixth Michigan Volunteers, for gallantry in the recon.
naissance of the 28th. The spirit exhibited by the command shows
that they are determined to maintain the high reputation they have
heretofore acquired. The major-general commanding will not be
unmindful of the services of individual officers or soldiers of organiza-
tions, and will reward them to the extent of his power.
By order of Major-General Hancock:

FRANCIS A. WALKER,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

CIRCULAR.]
HEADQUARTERS SECOND ARMY CORPS,

July 31, 1864.
On being relieved by the troops of the Fifth Corps, the Second Divis-
ion will be camped in the woods near the railroad, near its old camp.
The brigade of the Third Division, between the Norfolk road and rail.
road, will return to its former camp when relieved by the Fifth Corps.
The corps will be kept in readiness to move at short notice. The picket-
lines will probably be relieved this afternoon, and the rifle-pits to-night
or in the morning. None of the troops will vacate their position until
relieved.
By order of Major-General Hancock:

FRANCIS A. WALKER,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

1

HEADQUARTERS FIFTH ARMY CORPS,

July 31, 1864—9.30 a. m. Brig. Gen. S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General: I have the honor to report that everything was very quiet in my front during the night. Nothing of importance transpired.

G. K. WARREN,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS SECOND ARMY CORPS,

July 31, 1864. Major-General WARREN,

Commanding Fifth Corps : DEAR GENERAL: I send you a copy of the order* I issued after receiving your note, which, I believe, will meet your views. Should I

See Circular, above.

move suddenly I will have to take off the troops in the rifle-pits, but
there is no necessity of doing so before, and then you will have suf-
ficient notice, except in case of attack, which you will hear of before I
do (I have no telegraph). The best place for your camps along the
rifle-pits is where my three brigades are, dividing the line into three
parts. There are wells dng there. I sent you a staff officer to show
where my troops are, and to see that they were relieved, as yours may
be ready to go in.
Truly, yours,

WINF”D S. HANCOCK,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS FIFTH ARMY CORPS,

July 31, 1864—2 p. m. General HUMPHREYS:

I have received the order to occupy the line from the plank road to the Norfolk railroad. Is it not designed for me to occupy also the redoubt this side of the railroad and to establish the picket-line from the plank road to the railroad? If so, General Cutler's division will only make a thin line, but I suppose enough till he can be re-enforced.

G. K. WARREN,

Major-General.

1

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

July 31, 1861–2.30 p. m, Major-General WARREN,

Commanding Fifth Corps :
The direction to occupy the line from the plank road to the Norfolk
road was intended to include the redoubts you refer to and the estab-
lishment of the picket-line. The commanding general does not consider
it necessary to place the troops in the rifle-pits. They may be kept
massed at convenient points near by, from which they could be thrown
rapidly into the pits if necessary, or moved elsewhere if required. The
redoubts should be occupied.

A. A. HUMPHREYS,
Major-General and Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS FIFTII ARMY CORPS,

July 31, 1864. General S. WILLIAMS:

I can send one of my brigades to relieve Hancock's, as ordered, at once, by daylight. I am waiting, however, for an answer to a dispatch to General Humphreys about the redoubt and picket-line. Perhaps he is not in.

G. K. WARREN,

Major-General.

« PreviousContinue »