taken all the precautions for the defense of the city and the public property which the limited means at my disposal will permit. The inclosed communication from General De Russy, who is in the immediate command on the south side of the Potomac, will give some idea of the vigilance exercised.
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. P. HEINTZELMAN,
HEADQUARTERS DEFENSES SOUTH OF THE POTOMAC, Arlington,
June 28, 1863.
[Lieutenant Colonel J. H. TAYLOR,
A. A. G., and Chief of Staff:]
COLONEL: Company K, Captain Halleck, and Company L, Captain Smith, both belonging to the Scott's Nine Hundred, have been assigned, respectively, the first to Chain Bridge, and the latter to these Defenses, in front of Alexandria. They will receive their instructions from Colonels Hall and Wessells. Twenty-five men of the same regiment will, after having reported to Colonel Tannatt, near Fort Corcoran (in charge of a commissioned officer), proceed cautiously on the road toward Ball's Cross-Roads. Arrived there, 5 men will take the north fork of the road toward the Kirby road, not advancing beyond that thoroughfare. They will patrol this road during the night. Five men, remaining mounted, will be left at Ball's Cross-Roads. The remaining 15, in charge of the commissioned officer, will proceed toward Taylor's, at the junction of the road they advance on and that leading to Falls Church. It would be advisable that a few trustworthy men should be sent toward Falls Church, and, if possible, communicate with the signal corps on Munson's Hill. Twenty-five me, in charge of a commissioned officer, will start on the Columbia turnpike. Arrived at the cross-road leading to Ball's Cross-Roads, 5 men will be detached to open communication with the small force left there, and patrol that cross-road during the night. The remaining 20 men will proceed to Bailey's Cross-Roads, where 5 men will be detached toward Taylor's. They will patrol this road during the night. The remaining 15 men will proceed toward PAGET's tavern, at the junction of the Little River turnpike; they will remain there until daylight, if possible, Twenty men, in charge of a non-commissioned officer, will proceed along the Little River turnpike as far as PAGET's tavern, where they will remain until daylight. The object of these reconnaissances will be to see whether the country is clear of the enemy, or, in the event of discovering his approach, to give timely notice thereof to the different garrisons. It is not the intention, therefore, that any of these parties should engage in hostilities with any advancing force of the enemy. Care will be taken to conciliate, as far as possible, the inhabitants on the different routes, and, in the event of a retreat becoming necessary, one mounted man will be furnished with the countersign, to notify the infantry pickets along the line of retreat of the return of the party to which he belongs. Whatever information can be obtained from the inhabitants, will be duly reported to Colonel Tannatt, at Fort Corcoran, to Colonel Abbot, at Fort Richardson, and to the lieutenant-colonel command-