hill in advance of General Franklin's right, to the west of Golding's farm, intending that this should be the principal position for our artillery to drive the enemy from his positions at Old Tavern, Mrs. Price's, and the two Garnetts'. Thursday night we broke ground, with two regiments for the working party, two other regiments being the guards. Although we were within rifle-shot of the enemy's pickets, we were not disturbed, and by morning we were under good cover.
Friday, the 27th, General Porter was attached in force on the other side (left bank of the Chickahominy), and a heavy cannonade being opened about noon on General Smith's position st Golding's, the working party was withdrawn, but the work was still held by our infantry, and it contributed materially in enabling us to repel the attacks of the enemy during the day. During the afternoon, seeding that General Porter was being driven back toward our lower bridges, I suggested to General Franklin the propriety of destroying Duane's bridge and the foot bridge below it. General Franklin acquiesced, and I put a regiment at Duane's bridge and a company at the foot bridge, and before sunset they were well torn to pieces. It is worthy of remark that when I proceeded to this work I found a small party had already commenced the work of destruction, about a platoon at Duane's bridge and six men at the foot bridge; by whose orders they had gone to work I did not learn.
Saturday, the 28th General Franklin changed front, withdrawing from Golding's plain and the redoubt there. After assisting in the necessary slashing in front of the new line and in placing Carlisle's battery in position near Courtenay's house, I inspected our line of defense to the left as far as Fair Oaks. Returning in the afternoon, I was told by General Franklin that you wished to see me at headquarters, near Savage station. I immediately proceeded thither and received your instruction to take Lieutenants Comstock and Farquhar with me and proceed to James River and look for an eligible position to which the army might retreat and establish a new base of operations. While waiting for an escort the general-in-chief sent for me and reiterated your instructions. It may be remarked that the idea at that time was to take up a line joining the James and Chickahominy; at least such was my idea. Lieutenant Comstock and myself left Savage Station about 12 o'clock Saturday night. We stopped with General Woodbury near the White Oak Swamp Bridge.
On the morning of Sunday, the 29th, we proceeded to the headquarters of General Keyes, where we found the escort, under Major Pleasonton, of the Second Dragoons, had halted. Hearing firing in General Keyes' front, I rode forward to the debouche of the road over which General Sykes crossed the White Oak Swamp, and tried to get some axes to make a slashing across the roads leading from the Quaker road to Richmond, but in vain. Had 100 good amen been put at work on these roads during that day we would probably been spared the subsequent battles of Monday and Tuesday. Returning, I saw General McLellan, for whom I sketched the roads as far as I had seen them, and from I received orders to try and communicate with our fleet on James River.
We started at 12 m. and arrived at Carter's Landing at 5 p. m. We met no enemy. Immediately procured a boat, and communicated with the gunboats below City Point.
Returning to Carter's about 7 o'clock, I reported in writing to General McLellan, and sent an officer and 10 men to act as guides in conducting columns to that place. I left a gunboat at Carter's to protect