War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 1058 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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I ought to state in explanation of the conduct of Captain Jewett, whose exI)erience in the Army has been only during the present rebel- lion, that he says he was so ignored by Colonel Key in his position as to be made to feel that he had no authority in the premises. Respectfully submitted. J. II. SIMPSON, Colonel Fourth New Jersey Volunteers. [Inclosuro No. 2.] Memorandum in relation to the occurrences attending the parley of Ool. Thomas Al. Key, of General McClellans staff, with General Howell Cobb, Confederate service, at ilfechanicsville Bridge, Va., June 15, 1862. The First New Jersey Brigade, composed of the First, Second, Third, and Fourth New Jersey Volunteers, commanded by Brig. Gen. George W. Taylor, being encamped about Mechanicsville to guard the right flank of the Federal Army before Richmond, picketed along the Chick- ahominy from Beaver Dam Creek to Meadow Bridge; that is, for a dis- tance of between 3 and 4 miles, the Mechanicsville Bridge being, you may say, about central between the two extremes. On the day specified above (June 15) I was detailed as general field officer of the day, with the regiment I commanded, Fourth New Jersey Volunteers, to picket said line. My regiment went on picket at 7 a. m. At about noon, returning along the line of reserves from the Meadow Creek Bridge, I was told by one of my officers that a flag of truce was awaiting my presence at the Mechanicsville Bridge to grant the neces- sary permission to pass the lines. Hurrying along the line, I was ac- costed by another officer, who informed inc that General Taylor had been down to the (Mechanicsville) bridge to meet the flag of truce. Hearing this, I immediately repaired to the tent of General Taylor, who informed me that he had been down to see the flag-of-truce party, but in consequence of the officer in charge having treated him so shabbily, not having given him any notification of the occurrence or asking his concurrence in any way, he felt disgusted, and had returned without having had any conversation with the party, and thought he would leave the matter with me when I should come up. Immediately after dinner, which I took with him, as it was ready, I repaired to the Me- ehanicsville Bridge, and found a white flag flying on our (the east) side of the Chickahominy, and with it a small body of mounted dragoons, the escort of the flag. Seeing a sergeant of the detachment, I asked him where the parties were. He said I would find them in the shanty, pointing to it. At this I was very much surprised, for the building was within our lines on our (the east) side of the creek, and had all along been used by the reserve ~ at the Mechanicsville Bridge as their quarters, and that every mnormiing they a ~iinied it. Feeling indignant that a parley should be held in such a p the enemy come immeaiareiy jook dowu ~p~n ~ur vifle pit, which we had dug there a few nights l)revious, and that the reserve guard 0 tne bridge should have been turned out without my sanction or knowledge, I immediately approached the shanty and entered, when I saw two officers, one of them having the uniform of a colonel in the Federal Army, the other in a suit of gray, frock coat and trowsers, the uniform of a rebel officer. To the former, not knowing who he was, I immedi- ately introduced myself as Colonel Simpson, Fourth New Jersey Vol.