War of the Rebellion: Serial 069 Page 0649 Chapter XLVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.- UNION.

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ing the banks of the little creak upon which Barker's Mill is located. The enemy have a line pickets on this side of the Chickahominy. In addition to this line of pickets perpendicular to my line of battle I extend a line on the Dispatch road of skirmishers connecting at Tyler's with the cavalry. I think the enemy hold the fords our bridge-heads of the Chickahominy, with pickets on this side of it. By tacit understanding our pickets have ceased firing on each other. I have forbidden all intercourse of an irregular character. The communications in answer to flag of truce have been irregular and informal, but without my knowledge. It seemed to be the result of ignorance. I do not think that the alteration in my line is practicable, and would like a staff officer to indicate the new line to me.

I am, yours, truly,


Major-General of Volunteers.

LEARY'S HOUSE, June 6, 1864-4.30 a. m.

Major-General HUMPHREYS:

The head of my last division is just coming into camp. We have been in the rear of the column on the road all night, and I stayed there to see what would be done by the enemy. They made a considerable demonstration by yelling and firing about 9.30 p. m., and disconcerted us a little. It is almost useless I think to attempt marching these dark nights, unless it is for the mere object of safely retiring from a position. It was 3 a. m. before the rear of my column got on the way, and it was so on all our previous efforts. The road was good, but narrow and through forests. The men being unacquainted with the roads, on all descents step out just as one does in a strange house when they go down stairs. It is unavoidable, the inclination to feel before planting the foot, and the frequent tumbles they get off of banks and other places makes them do it in spite of every effort of their officer; then, too, in the night an officer cannot be distinguished, nor those who disobey him so that practically an army on one of these dark nights marches a little better than the crowd that walks the streets, as far as organization is concerned. The men never march well except on a retreat when they are all hurried forward with the common instinct of fear. The consequence besides of this is that the men are unfitted to-day to do the work they may be called upon. I find shoes have arrived and will be issued this morning. They are greatly needed.




June 6, 1864-10 a. m.

Major-General HUMPHREYS, Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: I believe if I should remain here to-night I could get up the baggage wagons of the corps, sort out that of the killed and wounded officers, left those remaining change their clothes, and dispense with half our baggage wagons for use in other ways. Will be here long enough to effect this?