War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 1047 SKIRMISH NEAR SEVEN PINES. Chapter XXIII.

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I beg leave to call your attention to the inclosed report of Brigadier- General Sickles, commanding the advance on yesterday, and also to the report of Major Moriarty, in command of the picket. Notwith- standing I had given positive instructions to have every movement of the enemy in front communicated to me, I had no knowledge of what had been going on there until a few minutes before 9 oclock p. m. I had visited the picket during the day, and was very much dissatisfied with the manner in which that duty was performed under Major Mo- riarty, and so reported to his brigade commander. I deem him an unsuitable person to command a picket anywhere. His report con- cerning the shelling of the redoubt is full of errors. The enemy threw yesterday morning five or six shots at a man in a tree from a single field piece, not one of them going in or near the redoubt. Similar exaggerations will be found in the report that a division of troops advanced on our picket. From more reliable information I have rea- son to believe their number did not exceed 200 infantry and a few cavalry. No explanation is furnished for the number reported as missing. I conclude they were taken prisoners from gross neglect. There was an unusual number of cases of drunkenness among the men in the brigade on duty yesterday, and to this I ascribe in a great measure this catas- trophe. I request that orders may be given for the issue of no whisky in this division except on requisitions approved by niyselt~ Very respecttully, your obedient servant, JOSEPH HOOKER, Brigadier- General, Comnman ding Division. Capt. CHAUNCEY MOKEEVEE, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Third Corps. No. 2. Report of Brig. Gen. Daniel B. Sickles, U. S. Army, commanding Second Brigade. HEADQUARTERS SECOND BRIGADE, June 158.55 p. in. CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that my command relieved the First Brigade yesterday at 4 p. m. The pickets were relieved by a detail of 300 men, under Major Holt, and were posted by him in coni- pany with Colonel Cowdin, field officer in command of the pickets of the First Brigade. The night passed with only an occasional shot in front, and these from the enemy, who had a strong picket in the house on the Williamsburg road, where it crosses the swamp. This morning at 4 oclock I inspected the position of the pickets from right to left, and ascended the oak tree in front, which is used as a lookout. Nothing was reported to me of the enemy as seen by myself this side of the clearing, on the left of which their field work and tents have been heretofore observed. 1 directed Major Holt, before he was re- lieved, to advance his line of pickets iii front so as to extend them to this side of the clearing, and if to do this it became necessary to drive the enemy from the house at the edge of the swamp on the road, to do so. This was done. What remained of the house was burned 6 a. in., Major Moriarty relieving Major Holt with 300 of the Fourth Regiment. During the morning the enemy opened fire upon us from what ap- peared to be some 12-pounder field guns in front, I should say about 1,200 yards. They had the range of our position. The first three shots