War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 1057 PARLEY BETWEEN GEN. COBB AND COL. KEY. Chapter XXIII.

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it to you, with the inclosed memorandum. In this connection it may be proper to remark that it was by the Meadow Bridge that General A. P. Hill and by the Mechanicsville Bridge that General Longstreet, of the rebel army, crossed the Chickahominy on the 26th June, 1862, at- tacked General McCall, and commenced the series of battles in which the Army of the Potomac was driven to Harrisons Landing. I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfally, your obedient servant, J. H. SIMPSON, Lieutenant- Colonel Engineers, U. S. Army Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War. [Inclosure No. 1.] IIDQRS. FOURTH NEW JERSEY VOLUNTEER CAMP, Near illiechanicsville, Va., June 16, 1862. Lient. ROBERT F. DUNHAM, Acting Assistant Adjutant- General, First Brigade, Slocums Division, Sixth (Franklins) Army Corps: SIR: The incidents of my tour since 7 a. m. yesterday morning were as follows: A battery, situated about midway between the Mechaniesville Bridge and the Meadow Bridge, opened for the first time yesterday morning with shell, two of which were thrown, one toward a foraging party of cavalry, the other toward a company of the First New Jer8ey Volun- teers, returning from picket, and which unnecessarily exposed itself. A search was made for the fragments of the shell to determine the caliber of the guns, but without success. Hearing on my return from visiting the pickets that a flag of truce was down at the Mechanicsville Bridge awaiting my authority to pass the lines, after seeing the brigadier-gen- eral commanding on the subject I returned to the point, and found to my surprise that Captain Jewett, Fourth New Jersey Volunteers, who was in command of a company at the point, had permitted, without any authority from me, a rebel general (Howell Cobb) to come within our lines sufficiently far to see our defenses at the bridge and hold a con- ference with an officer whom I did not personally know. Neither Gemi- eral Taylor nor myself knowing anything of the authority by which the conference was held, I asked the officer who had made himself known to me as Colonel Key, of General McClellans staff, for his credentials. At this he at first demurred, saying that the escort of United States cavalry with him was a sufficient guarantee. I told him I (lid not think so, and that he must excuse me, as I had never known him be- fore, if I insisted upon his showing me the authority by which He then showed me some papers wl3i~k~1v~l- us authority in the premises, and 1 becaine~ NaitI~lY~iL It seems, however, from his sub- sequent conversation with me that he was under the imp ~jrn~ that_____ General Taylor had been flOtifiC4 by General Marcy of the proposed interview. which, as he represented, was for an interchamige of prison- ers. The interview lasted about four hours, between 10 and 2 oclock. It is to he r~gr~ttcd that the cor~~erenee was I~ai within the lines, _____ which would not have takemi place with my approbation had I been consulted as it is, by Mrs. General Lee and family an(l ano~hcr lady, at another time, going over the Meadow Bridge, an(l General Cobb over the Mechanicsville Bridge, our defenses at both points have been exposed, and considering that we are at the right flank of our lines, and at best not very strongly fortified, the circumstance is unfortunate, 67 R R.YOL XI