Pennsylvania Volunteers, referred to as having given the Sharpshooters instructions to return to camp, utterly denies having given any such instructions or any permission whatever.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. S. HAMILTON,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.
Captain CHAUNCEY McKEEVER,
Assistant Adjutant-General., Fifth Corps.
DIVISION HEADQUARTERS, April 13, 1862
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of this date, instructing me "to report more promptly when anything occurs in your front, "and that "in case the enemy make a demonstration similar to the one of yesterday you will open immediately a fire of artillery upon him;" and, further, " should he attempt to construct additional rifle pits you will open fire upon him with spherical case-shot;"and, further,"you will protect your artillery by throwing up breastworks, which may be used either for artillery of infantry."
In reply, I respectfully say that in a former communication I have notified the commander of the corps that he would be promptly furnished with information of everything worthy of notice that takes place in my front. The information called for this morning was furnished as soon as received in detail from the commander in the front, Colonel Poe, and that all the information was furnished to the general commanding the corps that was in my possession verbally yesterday evening at his quarters.
The further particulars furnished this morning concerning the demonstration made late yesterday evening were sent forward in response to your note of this morning, which not was received before the desired information was in my possession.
It is proper to say here that the demonstration by the enemy on our right was of such a nature and occurring at such an hour as to lead Colonel Poe to the reasonable belief that if was only an expectation of an attack from us, and he did not communicate the information until this morning.
In regard to throwing up breastworks for the protection of artillery and infantry, I may be permitted to reply that orders from headquarters Third Army Corps require a detail daily of all the axes, picks shovels, and spades in this division to be sent to work on the road to Ship Point. Whenever the labor of these men and the implements can be dispensed with they will be employed in erecting the breastworks,as suggested by me to the general commanding the corps yesterday evening, and the artillery of the division will be freely used whenever it will prevent the construction of earthworks, additional rifle pits, or the labor of the rebels on their intrenchments.
The camp of my artillery will be changed forthwith.
I regret to see that the tone of your letter conveys censure.
I am, captain, respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. S HAMILTON,
Captain CHAUNCEY, McKEEVER,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Third Corps.