War of the Rebellion: Serial 069 Page 0648 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter XLVIII.

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In reply I have the honor to state that my judgment is decidedly against the practicability of such an assault, for the following reasons: The whole of my division is now in one line, and so close to the enemy's works that it will be difficult to mass other troops for an assault out of sight of the enemy. Their position is now so strong that it would be very difficult to carry it under the most favorable circumstances without very heavy losses, and it is reasonable to suppose that the enemy has now prepared other lines of defense if his rear and beyond our sight. His batteries are strongly posted and are well placed for flanking and having a cross-fire on the approaches to his position. I do not believe the enemy could carry our position nor am I confident that we could carry theirs. My own men from being so constantly employed and under fire, which they have been for three days, are a good deal exhausted, which, I presume, in a measure is the case with the whole army.

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

JOHN GIBBON,

Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding Division.

HEADQUARTERS SECOND ARMY CORPS,

June 6, 1864.

Major-General BIRNEY,

Commanding Third Division:

GENERAL: The enemy's pickets on the Dispatch road are within about 150 yards from your breast-works. From this point the enemy can look directly into your works. No works of their own can be seen from the same point, nor any picket reserves. The road is open for 150 yards farther. This information is derived from Major Mitchell, who went out with a flag and saw your lines from that point. a deserter reports that their entrenched line is nearly a mile back of this. From the fact that no picket-firing has been going on in your front the enemy have been able to examine your line without difficulty. If his statement in regard to the relative positions of the pickets [is correct] the commanding general directs that you will push your pickets forward for better protection. The above is by direction of the major-general commanding.

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

WM. R. DRIVER,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HDQRS. BIRNEY'S DIVISION, SECOND ARMY CORPS,

June 6, 1864.

Lieutenant-Colonel Walker,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Army Corps:

COLONEL: I have the honor to report that during last night, in obedience to orders, I took position on General Barlow's left, covering the Dispatch Station road. Three brigades in single line extend from General Barlow's left to Barker's Mill. I occupy the heights to left of the mill, with a battery of light twelve, and my remaining brigade covering the approaches from the Chickahominy by Sumner's (upper) and Alexander's Bridges. My pickets are close to the enemy's and extend on my left flank to the enemy's picket, by follow