War of the Rebellion: Serial 069 Page 0308 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter XLVIII.

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HEADQUARTERS SECOND DIVISION, SIXTH CORPS,

May 29, 1864.

Lieutenant Colonel M. T. McMAHON,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Sixth Corps:

COLONEL: I have honor to represent, for the action of the major-general commanding Sixth Corps, that two of my best and most reliable brigade organizations are about to be entirely lost to the service of our cause for the following reasons: My (old) Third Brigade, Colonel Bidwell, Forty-ninth New York Volunteers, commanding, is so depleted by losses on various battle-fields as not to equal numerically a regiment of infantry. The organization and appointments of the brigade are perfect. The troops are mostly New York troops; therefore it is desirable that troops from that State may be ordered to re-enforce this command. Colonel Bidwell is the oldest colonel in the New York State regiments, and I believe the oldest in the army. He has been recommended for promotion as brigadier for gallant conduct in the former and late battles. My present Fourth Brigade, Colonel Oliver Edwards, Thirty-Seventh Massachusetts Volunteers, commanding, will lose all his regiments but one on the 6th, 11th, and 21st of next month by expiration of term of service. Colonel Edwards has been recommended for promotion as brigadier for gallant persistent fighting on the Angle. If practicable, Massachusetts troops would be preferred here. The tone, spirit, and efficient organization of these commands ought no to be lost to the service. Any troops, however indifferent, might be ingrafted, but by their well-earned reputation these brigades deserve the consideration of troops from the several States.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

THOS. H. NEILL,

Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

[First indorsement.]

HEADQUARTERS SIXTH CORPS,

June 4, 1864.

Respectfully forwarded, for the information of the major-general commanding the Army of the Potomac. When any re-enforcements are assigned to the corps the two brigades referred to will receive such proportional numbers as will enable their brigade organizations to be kept up.

H. G. WRIGHT,

Major-General, Commanding.

[Second indorsement.]

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

June 5, 1864.

Respectfully returned to the commanding officer of the Sixth Corps.

Cannot these brigade organizations be kept up by assignments from other portions of your command, providing re-enforcements cannot be had?

By command of Major-General Meade:

CHAS. E. PEASE,

Assistant Adjutant-General.