War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0242 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter XLVIII.

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State and the great cause for which it is fighting. After dark another regiment and battalion of Hagood's brigade arrived, giving us an aggregate of abut 3,500. It was evident that the enemy's force was much superior to our own, and no doubts were entertained in regard to their receiving new accessions.

During the evening I received the following communications:

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA,

Petersburg, Va., May 7, 1864-5 p. m.

General B. R. JOHNSON,

Commanding, Port Walthall Junction:

GENERAL: If you cannot hold your present position, you had better come back to Swift Creek. The enemy are advancing on this side of the river. Have sent you every man that has arrived. For safety I must stop the next detachment here, even should they come on, which is problematical.

Very respectfully,

G. E. PICKETT,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA,

Petersburg, May 7, 1864-7 p. m.

Brigadier General BUSHROD JOHNSON,

Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: If you cannot hold your present position you must fall back to the line of the Swift Creek. Send one regiment to re-enforce Clingman at once. We are compelled to protect our right flank. Make your disposition at once. I will continue to send on whatever troops which may arrive, although I cannot learn at what time the next detachment may come on. Please make a report to me. Let me know exactly what you are doing.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. E. PICKETT,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA,

Petersburg, Va., May 7, 1864.

General B. R. JOHNSON,

Commanding &c.:

GENERAL: I have sent you two dispatches this evening and have received no reply. I have received no re-enforcements except what you have now wit you. You will fall back, therefore, to Swift Creek, bringing off your artillery which has been disabled first. Place one regiment and a battery in position on the crossing of the road from Chesterfield Court-House to this point. Leave a line of pickets to withdraw at daylight. Intrenching tools will be sent to you at Swift Creek.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. E. PICKETT,

Major-General.

This was received by me about 10 p. m. on May 7, 1864. Between 10 and 11 p. m. the artillery was put in motion. At 12 p. m. the infantry moved, and by 3 a. m. on the morning of may 8 our forces had crossed the south bank of Swift Creek. During the day and night of the 8th I sent out several parties to the Junction to collect property, arms, and accouterments. The field of battle was occupied by our troops until about 10 a. m. on Monday, the 9th instant, when the enemy advanced upon our position at Swift Creek. In this cavalry and from the observations of Major-General Hill, who returned from the Junction about 10 a. m., the enemy must have come into the turnpike south of Timberry Creek. From subsequent information it appears that a portion of their forces went as far north as Chester.

During the 8th and the morning of the 9th our troops were engaged in constructing a good line of rifle-pits, with batteries, under the supervision of Colonel Harris. Hagood's brigade was posted on