than any men in camp, since those in camp had been working the day and previous night on the entrenchments, and were much fatigued. I am of the opinion that the above circumstance was no justification for cowardice.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
P. S.-Lieutenant Gillpatrick, who was on picket at this time, and who stood his guard, reports taht he remonstrated with Captain Badger in reference to the latter's disposition of officers and men on the picket-line, and that there was no necessity for the order to fall back.
May 23, 21864-10 p. m.
Please report to me any information you have received from the scout you sent out or other sources as to the position of the enemy. General Gillmore, at his request, is about to make a reconnaissance to-night in front of his line. Perhaps you might feel the enemy on the road to the left at the same time.
B. F. BUTLER,
May 23, 1864-10.30 p. m.
Four of 7 scouts have returned. Two could not pass General Gillmore's line on my pass. The other 2 report that they reached the railroad between the Junction and the burnt, mill and taht it is not yet repaired, but that parties were working on it from both directions. One scout reports a field-work being thrown up on the hill overlooking the burnt mill, but no works seen on the hills near the Junction. The men were both ordered to report to you in the morning, and I had intended to send this information to you before this. I see no practicable good and much chance of ambuscade and confusion to result from a night reconnaissance; in addition to that I should be almost certain in the darkness to leave dead and wounded on the field. I shall, therefore, make no demonstration unless under an order.
WF. F. SMITH,
MAY 23, 1864.
Will you please ascertain the name of the officer of the picket that connected with the colored vedettes on our extreme right on the 16th instant. It is very important to know his name, that I may