War of the Rebellion: Serial 069 Page 0143 Chapter XLVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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HDQRS. THIRD DIVISION TENTH ARMY CORPS,

In the Field, May 23, 1864.

Lieutenant Colonel E. W. SMITH,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Tenth Army Corps:

COLONEL: In pursuance with instructions received from General Gillmore to-night, the picket-line of this division was ordered to move forward until it should develop the enemy. The line advanced a short distance, and drawing the fire of the enemy, after a few minutes, retired to its original position. This attempt not being well followed up by the whole line, it was ordered to advance again, which it did, drawing a heavier fire from the enemy than before. Having ascertained taht the force was sufficient to check our line, I ordered the faring to cease, and the line to be occupied as before.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. AMES,

Brigadier-General.

HDQRS. THIRD DIVISION, TENTH ARMY CORPS,

Near Were Bottom Church, Va., May 23, 1864.

Colonel E. W. SMITH,

Assistant Adjutant-General:

COLONEL: An officer on picket night before last reports taht the enemy is putting up heavy works behind the woods in front of Battery Numbers 3; that he heard them spiking down platforms, &c., leading him to believe that mortars are being put into position. He also reports the sawing down of these and the erection of four of fire different batteries. He says he counted some ten distinct regimental bands of music (or field music) near others more distant.

Very respectfully, your, &c.,

A. AMES,

Brigadier-General.

HDQRS. THIRD DIVISION, TENTH ARMY CORPS,

May 23, 1864.

Colonel SHAFFER,

Chief of Staff:

COLONEL: I send you 4 officers who were on picket duty night before last, and who failed to make their men stand to their posts and discharge their duties. The men reports that the order to retreat was given. A part of the line, with a few officers, remained on the original line all the time. Lieutenant F. H. Davis, Fourth New Hampshire Volunteers, came inside the entrenchments with 16 men. Lieutenant D. Gile, Fourth new Hampshire Volunteers, came back to the entrenchments, was placed under arrest by Colonel Howell (so Colonel Howell reports), but afterward made his escape and returned to the picket-line. Captains Badger and Burleigh, of the same regiment, are reported as having given the order to retreated. I send them to you. I will state, for the information of the major-general commanding, that this was the second night this picket had been on. When a new detail was the second night this picket had been on. When a new detail was made the brigade commander was of the opinion that the picket them on was better able to perform the duties