War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0235 Chapter XXIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

to expect any new regiments soon? Such troops could protect my rear and give me McCall's division entire.




Camp near Fair Oaks Station, Va., June 19, 1862.

Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS,

Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

I have the honor to report that from one of the forest trees a tolerably good view of the enemy's field works in my front was obtained yesterday. They have a redoubt located near the railroad; one to command the Williamsburg old stage road, and another to command a succession of clearings which extend from Casey's camp to their position, these reaching off from the camp in nearly a southwesterly direction. These redoubts appear to be connected with a continuous line of rifle pits, running almost perpendicular to the railroad.

All of these field works are located on the western border of a wheat field, and directly in advance of a dense pine forest, in which is one of the rebel camps. From a slight elevation it can be observed that they extend a mile or more. Beyond that the view is obstructed. From the density of the forest this camp would not be observed except from a side view from the east. It has not been satisfactorily ascertained whether the redoubts are garnished with guns or not.

For several days past I have been satisfied of the presence of a large number of troops in my immediate neighborhood, but it was only yesterday that I had reliable information as to their probable number or the character and extent of the enemy's defenses. This information was furnished me by Lieutenant-Colonel Potter, of the Seventy-first New York Volunteers, whose intelligence, activity, and zeal has been of great service since my division has had the honor to hold the advance of the army.

The wheat field referred to is the first cleared field we come to after passing the forest in front of Casey's camp, and is about 600 yards wide. These field works were not visible from the wheat field on the 2nd instant. Troops emerging from the woods will be exposed to terrible fire, to avoid which Wyman was directed not to permit his men to step outside the timber.

I request that Private Libscom, a prisoner of yesterday, may be examined critically, for much valuable information can be gathered from him. He was sent to headquarters this morning.

Very respectfully, &c.,


Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.



No. 136. Camp Lincoln, Va., June 19, 1862.

I. The extra issue of whisky heretofore ordered will be immediately discontinued.

II. All commanding officers are enjoined strictly to enforce the existing orders directing that hot coffee be served to the troops immediately after reveille.

By command of Major-General McClellan:


Assistant Adjutant-General.

WASHINGTON CITY, June 20, 1862.

Major-General McCLELLAN:

We have this morning sent you a dispatch of General Sigel corroborative of the proposition that Jackson is being re-enforced from Richmond. This may be reality and yet may only be contrivance for deception, and to determine which is perplexing. If we knew it was not true we could send you some more force, but as the case stands we do not think we safely can. Still, we will watch the signs and do so if possible.

In regard to a contemplated execution of Captains Sprigg and Triplett the Government has no information whatever, but will inquire and advise you.*