War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0197 Chapter XXIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION.

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the Colonel of Ordnance be directed to furnish them with as little delay as practicable.



ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, May 28, 1862 - 7.30 a. m.

General PORTER:

After I received your message last evening, in reply to my inquiries per Lieutenant Farquhar, I pushed on 3 miles, over a very marshy road and through thick woods to the railroad which I had torn up the day before repaired, and while we were destroying it a train of four cars came down, which we caught. I sent the engine and tender up to try and communicate with you, but the party got among the rebels and returned. Night coming on, I encamped on the road and sent a piece and squadron on 3 miles and until they came upon a large camp on the turnpike leading from Hanover Court-House to Richmond. I have this morning learned that the force consists of Branch's division of North Carolina troops, which has since been added to by two regiments of Georgia and one of Virginia troops from the army you defeated yesterday. The train we captured had upon it baggage and equipments from the Second North Carolina Regiment.

Under these circumstances I thought and still think best to await further instructions from headquarters. The road from the railroad to where the rebels are encamped in front of us, 3 miles, is through dense woods and over marshy ground, and altogether impracticable for the operation of such a force as I have with me-artillery and cavalry, supported by about 1,100 infantry.

Please inform me of what you have done, and your future movements, and oblige, very respectfully, yours &c.,


Brigadier-General, Commanding Advance Guard.

MAY 28, 1862 - 1.15 a. m.

General SUMNER:

Direct Sedgwick to move with his division at daylight and encamp near Cold Harbor, and await further orders. This is merely a measure of precaution, and his division will probably return to your camp.

In the mean time you will hold the important position which you now occupy, keeping a sharp lookout upon all the movements of the enemy.

By command of General McClellan:




At Seven Pines, May 28, 1862.

CAPTAIN: In accordance with the direction of the general commanding the Fourth Corps d'Armee, I shall proceed to give a few reasons for what, in my opinion, is the cause of the great loss of men in my division since its organization in Washington.