War of the Rebellion: Serial 045 Page 0600 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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SPECIAL ORDERS,

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

Numbers 183.

July 8, 1863.

* * * * * * III. Major General A. A. Humphreys is announced as the chief of staff of the major-general commanding, and will be obeyed and respected accordingly.

Major-General Humphreys will report at these headquarters with as little delay as practicable.

* * * * * * V. Brigadier General H. M. Naglee, with his command, instead of reporting for duty in the Third Army Corps, will proceed to Harper's Ferry, and, upon his arrival, will assume command of that post by virtue of his rank.

By command of Major-General Meade:

S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

CIRCULAR.] HDQRS, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, July 8, 1863.

Attention is called to existing orders from these headquarters forbidding batteries to be withdrawn from the field because of a want of ammunition. This was done in several instances in the recent battle, and in one instance a large quantity of ammunition was found upon the ground so abandoned. As rapidly as ammunition is expended, caissons will be emptied by transfer to other chests; and as soon as two caissons at most are emptied, they will be sent to the trains for supplies. Wagon-loads can no longer be sent to batteries. The privilege of thus sparing the labor of battery horses has been abused to the injury of the service.

The practice of taking a number of rounds of shot, shell, and shrapnel from the chests, and bringing them near the gun when in action, is positively prohibited. Proper pointing gives ample time under all circumstances for procuring ammunition, one round at a time, from the limber chests; the only exception is in the case of canister at close range. Large quantities of ammunition have been left upon the ground as a result of the bad practice referred to. Commanders of batteries will be held responsible for compliance with the foregoing instructions. In all clear cases of violation or neglect of these orders, the battery commanders will be recommended for dismissal.

Immediately after each action, commandants of artillery will send direct to the chief of artillery of the army a brief statement of losses, and requirements to put their batteries in order. The report will be in the form of a field return, and will note the losses of officers and men, horses, and the number of guns, limbers, caissons, &c., shot or damaged sufficiently to require being replaced. It is impossible to make the necessary arrangements to refit the artillery after an action without prompt information on these subjects. The returns will be brief, and in addition to all returns and reports required by corps commanders.

A copy of the foregoing will be furnished to every battery commander in this army by corps commanders and Artillery Reserve. By command of Major-General Meade:

S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.