without seeing or hearing anything of the enemy. The report of these last is not satisfactory. I shall keep out some good men. My pickets are all in a satisfactory condition.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. W. AVERELL,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding.
P. S.-A servant of one of the officers who was captured at Hartwood escaped from the rebels at Culpeper Court-House, and returned to our lines last night. I have sent for him.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, December 7, 1862.
COMMANDING OFFICER VOLUNTEER ENGINEER BRIGADE:
General Burnside desires that no pontoons shall be moved beyond White Oak Church at present, and wishes to know if any have been taken beyond that point down the river; and, if so, how many? It would be well to avoid moving them at all. Please answer by bearer.
C. B. COMSTOCK,
Lieutenant of Engineers and Chief Engineer Army of the Potomac.
ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, CHIEF OF ARTILLERY, December 7, 1862.
General J. G. PARKE,
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: On the 22nd of October, Colonel Tyler, First Connecticut Artillery, by my direction, submitted a memorandum on the organization of a siege train. This memorandum was approved (October 26), with some modifications; submitted to Major-General McClellan; approved by him, and returned to Colonel Tyler (October 27), with orders to have it carried out. The organization of three batteries of four 4 1/2-inch guns as batteries of position, to be used in the passage of rivers and other operations requiring them, the batteries to form part of the siege train at Richmond, was ordered at the same time. This latter organization not having been carried out as ordered, and it being of the utmost importance that the inconvenience now being felt from the non-arrival of the three position batteries should not occur before Richmond, I beg to bring under your notice the proposition submitted by Colonel Tyler, in order that steps may be taken to have it, if necessary, carried out immediately. The proposal was to have ready forty 4 1/2-inch siege guns, ten 8-inch howitzers, ten 10-inch mortars, ten 8-inch mortars, with all the necessary stores and means of transportation, the whole to be shipped on board suitable barges, ready for transportation by water to any point which may be designated. Colonel Tyler was selected for the duty of organizing this siege train, because he commanded the siege train at Yorktown and in the Peninsula. His regiment, officers and men, are, therefore, thoroughly acquainted with the duties required of them. In order, however, that the amount of artillery which it may be necessary to accumulate against any work previous to assaulting it may be placed in position with the greatest possible rapidity, it would be deplaned in position another heavy artillery regiment with Colonel Tyler's
The placing of rifled 32-pounders in position at Fredericksburg (6 1/1-inch