too weak, and unless more force can be put upon it it will be endangered by a strong attack. The position of the Forty-eighth is one that should be held by the First Division, as it covers nearly the whole of the left and center of that line. I have put the Second Mounted Rifles in line, but even with them I have not enough force to fill my single line, and if I am to trust any artillery on that hill the line certainly ought to be strong enough to hold until I can get it out. At present I am not willing to trust any guns there, although I think it would be great relief to the whole line. I really think my division ought to be relieved, but I do not feel like asking for it without seeing you. Some of my men have been on the skirmish line forty-eight hours without being relieved, and my whole force has been at work all night every night since they have been here, and are getting used up. If the First Division would relieve the Forty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers and connect with my skirmishers to the left of the Bosher house, it would not give them any more duty, and would considerably relieve me. At present most of their force on outpost duty is useless picketing the rear of my line. I inclose a memoranda* found on the field near the right of my line vacated by the enemy. I believe an officer of the cavalry took a copy of it and proposed to arrest the party, which evidently ought to be done at once.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
ROBERT B. POTTER,
I have put three guns in position near the left of my line, within about 400 yards of the enemy's work, which I think will bother them a good deal if they try to advance there. I have sheltered them pretty well.
HDQRS. SECOND DIVISION, NINTH ARMY CORPS,
June 8, 1864-5 p.m.,
Major General A. E. BURNSIDE,
Ninth Army Corps:
GENERAL: I did not receive Major Cutting's note of 2.30 p.m., owing to my absence on the picket-line, from which I have just returned. My line extends from a short distance north of Widow Thompson's to a branch of the Matadequin (which rises near Bethesda Church and runs along the line formerly held by the Fifth Corps), where the right rests on the creek and swamp west by southwest of Bosher's. The whole line is thoroughly entrenched, and rather more than three-fifths of a mile in length. I will send you a plot of it as soon as completed. I placed Colonel Pierce with his brigade (who reports but 530 muskets) in the position held by the Forty-eighth, his line of skirmishers extending from the north side of the Bosher's to a point where it connects with the pickets of the First Brigade (Ledlie's), First Division, my object being to get my own command together, and get Colonel Pierce on the line of his own division, so that he could report to his own division commander, with whose troops he is only in connection. The picket-line which Pierce holds is a very good and important one, and the point where his main force is has been thoroughly entrenched by the Forty-eighth, and is very strong.
*See p. 668.