War of the Rebellion: Serial 013 Page 0944 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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versation; and as Major Allen's duty lay in a different direction, we could make but slight use of his knowledge.

The infantry force and several batteries brought by General Hill and artillery under my command reached Perkinson's saw-mill, some 7 miles below, by 10 o'clock and there halted. Within an hour or two you arrived, and we were informed that the fleet, &c., was to be attacked the approaching night and that you were to superintend the expedition. After some consultation it was determined to move the whole force forward about 2 miles and there leave wagons and caissons. Colonel Brown and Lieutenant-Colonel Coleman were detailed with certain batteries to proceed to Hood's Point, or to Claremont if necessary and practicable. The other guns were to be taken by their proper commanders, when notified, to positions which adequate reconnaissances might indicate as best. Lieutenant-Colonel Cutts, Major Nelson, and Captain Dabney were summoned to accompany yourself and myself, attended by one or two members of each staff, on this reconnaissance. The tour proved laborious and perplexing. The enemy's shipping lay crowded before, us but positions were difficult of access and a night approach required great care. in consequence, several hours of the night had passed before notice to advance could be given the batteries. In the haste and dark a mistake occurred also respecting the force for Colonel Brown. This led to additional delay, and I became satisfied the movement was too much hurried and confused for success that. night. This judgment was concurred in by all my field officers, and I was happy to find it sanctioned by yourself so soon as communicated. We therefore resolved to waive further proceedings and to report to General Hill. He kindly acquiesced, though much disappointed and anticipating failure the next night from the probable disclosure of our movements to and preparation to for it by the enemy the ensuing day.

By the time our force was replaced in position not to be seen from the enemy's balloon when it should go up in the morning day had dawned, and no rest or refreshment had yet been taken by men or horses.

In the early forenoon of the 31st, General Hill having returned to his more comprehensive duties in Petersburg and committed the expedition to us, you issued instructions for a systematic co-operation on the part of the infantry and all toward success that night, and I sketched and submitted to the artillery officers an exact for their proceeding. Colonel Brown was to take Maycox's twelve guns, viz, four 10-pounder Parrot rifles, two Napoleons, four 12-pounder howitzers, and two 6-pounders, under Captains Watson and Macon and Lieutenants Thurmond and Pegram. He was to move by 4 p. m., so as to approach his position about dusk. Lieutenant-Colonel Coleman was to take to Coggins Point, on its right, eight 12-pounder howitzers, under Captains Dance and Joseph Graham and Lieutenant Griffin; Major Nelson also to take to Coggins Point, on its left, eight guns, viz, two 10-pounder Parrot rifles, two 3-inch rifles, two 12-pounder howitzers, and two 6-pounders, under Captains Huckstep and R. C. M. Page and Lieutenant Woodroof; Lieutenant-Colonel Cutts, to a point considerably farther on the left, eleven long-range guns, viz, eight Parrott rifles, two 3-inch rifles, and one Napoleon, under Captains Lane and Ross Lieutenant Robertson, and Captain Dabney (Major Lewis not having then arrived to command the heavy battery), to a position still farther back on the left, near M. Ruffin's residence, the four large rifles, to be operated by Captain Milledge and himself. The field and company officers assigned each position were directed to make, as care