We are ordered to attack the enemy this morning. Have the ammunition in the cartridge boxes examined, and if wet have it supplied from ordnance wagons. The guns and everything should be well looked to, as you have some very poor officers in command.
Have every man supplied with a strip of white cloth. This is to be worn on the cap in battle, but do not let even your colonels know where it is to be worn until a few moments before you start.
Major Sadler reports that you commissary has not drawn his meat rations. Your men, I fear, will have to go into battle hungry. Your colonels have several time complained to me of negligence on the part of your commissary.
We cannot move on the enemy until your brigade is in position. I hope that it will not delay us.
D. H. HILL,
MAY 31, 1862-6.30 a.m.
GENERAL: I am ordered to attack the enemy this morning. You will be relieved by General Armistead. Have your men ready to start at a moment's notice. Examine their cartridge boxes, and if their ammunition be damaged have it supplied from the ordnance wagons.
Send Nelson to General Rains' camp, now on the Williamsburg road and near the place occupied by Pettigrew's brigade, near the toll-gate and between the railroad and the Williamsburg road. Carter's battery will move with you. I think that you had better move over to the Williamsburg road by the road running by French's. I presume that you will scout the country on Garland's right, between that and the Charles City road. Halt the head of your column at the edge of the woods near the field running by Currie's. As soon as General Armistead reaches the Charles City road I have directed Lieutenant West to ride on and set your brigade in motion to be out of the way before General Armistead arrives.
Have your ordnance wagons parked at some convenient distance in rear. Have a strip of cloth (white) prepared as a battle badge for each man. This is to be worn around the cap in action; but I do not want even your colonels to know its position until the action is about to begin.
Specific battle instructions will be given hereafter.
Leave an officer to point out to General Armistead the position of your infantry and artillery, and get your brigade out of his way when notified by Lieutenant West.
D. H. HILL,
HEADQUARTERS, May 31, 1862.
GENERAL: General Johnston directs me to say, in answer to yours of this date, that Longstreet will precede you. What he said about McLaws was merely in case of emergency. He has given no orders to Magruder.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. P. MASON,