War of the Rebellion: Serial 040 Page 0095 Chapter XXXVII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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to understand that I wished to throw off the responsibility of disciplining my command, but rather for him to be informed as to the difficulties the way of duty-as, for instance, this most unwarrantable of duty occurred under the best picket officer I have, and as good a one as I ever knew, and, too, at a time when we were endeavoring to perfect our picket system, and thought we were successful.

I am, sir, very respectfully,

D. N. COUCH,

Major-General of Volunteers.

CAMP NEAR FALMOUTH, VA.,

February 22, 1863.

Commanding Officer, Third Corps:

I am directed by the commanding general to say that work on the roads may be suspended during the present severe storm.

Very respectfully, &c.,

S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

(Copies furnished commanding officers of the Sixth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Corps.)

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

February 23, 1863.

Major-General HOOKER,

Willard's Hotel, Washington, D. C.:

Couch reports the enemy's pickets apparently withdrawing except when flag of truce boat crosses. Have dispatched Moore and Candler to investigate and report.

DANL. BUTTERFIELD,

Major-General, Chief of Staff.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

February 23, 1863.

Major-General HOOKER,

Willard's Hotel, Washington, D, C.:

Report of examination says supposed to be simply withdrawal of position of pickets for shelter by reduction of detail. As the weather improves more appear.

DANL. BUTTERFIELD,

Major-General, Chief of Staff.

HDQRS. SECOND BRIGADE, FIRST CAVALRY DIVISION,

February 23, 1863.

Brigadier General A. PLEASONTON,

Commanding First Cavalry Division:

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that, in compliance with your instructions, I yesterday proceeded to Aquia Creek to select a suitable