noiter. The brigade will remain near the railroad all forenoon; the men will get their breakfast in the new position at the time Kirby's brigade marches to the railroad. One of Taylor's regiments will move to the left and occupy a position midway, covering the deep ravine on your left. I will try to be on the ground myself. It may be advisable to move artillery over. We must do all we can to deceive the enemy and make expect assault.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
D. S. STANLEY,
HDQRS. FIRST Brigadier, FIRST DIV., 4TH ARMY CORPS,
August 18, 1864-2.20 a. m.
I have just had reported from my officer of the day that a picket-post of ours had been captured. The location and circumstance create quite a surprise in my mind. The post was about the left of my picket-line and nearly in front of the left of my line of battle. The country immediately in front of the captured post is densely wooded, to the front and right is the deep cut and heavy embankment on the railroad, admirably adapted for the concealment of any movements of the troops. The circumstances attending the capture are these: A vedette (stationed a short distance in front of the post) was heard to challenge some person and get the reply "relief guard." Immediately thereafter a slight scuffle ensued, without any out cry. After waiting a moment or two, four men, composing the post, started out to reconnoiter. Nothing had been heard from these men, not even the slightest noise, for two hours, when the officer in command of the station sent the sergeant of the guard in to make this report. No enemy has ever been discovered in that vicinity before by my men. The enemy's railroad trains are very busy to-night.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
I. M. KIRBY,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
HDQRS. SECOND DIVISION, FOURTH ARMY CORPS,
August 18, 1864.
Lieutenant Colonel J. S. FULLERTON,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Fourth Army Corps:
COLONEL: Permit me to offer a few suggestions for the consideration of the general commanding, which I consider applicable to our present position and equally so whether we are to retain our present line or to abandon it:
First. To suspend all fire along the lines from midnight till reveille, and after that, unless for some reason the pickets are ordered to fire, and in case of the pickets being compelled to fire, that they report to brigade commander what the object is.
Second. To restrain artillery fire at daybreak, if practicable, because that might indicate that we retained our line or the contrary.
Third. That the smokes in our rear be increased and extended, and that reveille be without drums or bugles, and no drums or bugles be