hospitals, organized into a provisional brigade composed of men from nearly every regiment of the Army of the Potomac. They were ordered into position in rear of Fort Slocum, as information received led me to believe that the enemy would demonstrate farther to our right.
At 12.30 a. m. on the 11th the following telegraphic order was received:
Major-General Gillmore, U. S. Volunteers, with a portion of the Nineteenth Corps, is assigned to command the line from Fort Lincoln to Fort Totten. Brigadier General M. C. Meigs, Quartermaster-General, to command the line from Fort Totten to Ford De Russy. Brigadier General M. D. Hardin, U. S. Volunteers, to command from Fort De Russy to Fort Sumner, inclusive. The Sixth Corps, Major General H. G. Wright, U. S. Volunteers, commanding, to be held in reserve, and the entire line and troops to be commanded by Major General A. McD. McCook, U. S. Volunteers.
This order was complied with, with the exception to hold the Sixth Corps entire in reserve. I deemed it absolutely necessary that the immediate front should be picketed by experienced men.
At dawn on the morning of the 12th the sharpshooters of the enemy opened fire upon our skirmish line, which had been intrenched during the night. This fire was kept up from both lines during the day. The enemy, on retiring their line on the evening of the 11th, seized and retained possession of a house on the right of the silver Spring road, situated on an elevated piece of ground, surrounded by an orchard and large shade trees (Rives), which afforded excellent cover for sharpshooters, and commanded our advance line. They also posted sharpshooters in Mrs. Lay's house to the left of the road. From these two points our skirmish line wa very much annoyed by the enemy, they killing and wounding about 30 o four skirmishers during the day. I determined these two points must be carried. General Wright was ordered to furnish a brigade to make the assault (as I had failed to carry these points with Captain Beattie's sharpshooters, of General Getty's division, Sixth Corps). Brigadier General Frank Wheaton, U. S. Volunteers, was ordered to direct the movements of the assaulting troops. These troops having gained their position previous to assault at about 6 p. m., the two positions held by the enemy were vigorously shelled from Fort Stevens. Then at a signal Wheaton's troops dashed forward, and, after a spirited contest, gained the ground. This attack developed new forces of the enemy that had been concealed in a ravine beyond Mrs. Lay's house, and in the depression beyond the copse on the right of the road. The enemy's line was re-enforced by at least a brigade, the contest was kept up until after dark, we having gained all the ground desired, and rude intrenchments were thrown up upon it.
That night the enemy withdrew their forces from our front. At dawn on the 13th none of them could be seem Two companies of infantry were at once deployed as skirmishers, their flanks covered by a few mounted men, and pushed forward to gain all the information possible. Going forward in person I found nothing but the deserted camps of the enemy, and a few stragglers; also a hospital at Sligo Post-Office, containing about 70 rebels wounded too severely to be moved, 11 of them commissioned officers, including surgeons and attendants-about 90 in all.
The prisoners taken between Fort Stevens and Leesborough numbered not less than 200, including the hospital. The number killed and wounded of the enemy I am unable to state, as all those who could be transported were taken away. Their loss must have been