War of the Rebellion: Serial 080 Page 0158 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LII.

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August 5, 1864.

Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

SIR: In compliance with directions received from you to-day, I have the honor to make the following report of the duty performed by the engineer officers during the assault of July 30:

In compliance with directions from the chief of staff, I detailed an officer of engineers for duty with each corps that was ordered to take part in the attack on the 30th of July. Major Michler, who was charged with selecting the position of the column on the right, after having reconnoitered the position, reported to General Ord and was informed that his subordinate generals had already examined the position, were thoroughly acquainted with the ground, and required no further assistance. They had already determined to take the same position indicated by Major Michler. Two engineer officers belonging to the Eighteenth Corps accompanied the movement. Lieutenant Benyaurd (Engineers), who has been on duty on the Ninth Corps front, reported to General Burnside and remained with him during the whole affair. After having consulted with the commanding general of the Fifth Corps as to the direction his column would take, I proceeded to the batteries in front of that corps and assisted Colonel Abbot in directing their fire so as to silence that of the enemy against the assaulting columns. I then repaired to the right of this line. By this time, however, the attack had been abandoned, and my services were no longer required.

Very respectfully,


Major Engineers.



July 29, 1864.

I. The mine will be exploded to-morrow morning at 3.30 by Colonel Pleasants. General Potter will issue the necessary orders to the colonel for the explosion.

II. General Ledlie will immediately upon the explosion of the mine move his division forward as directed by verbal orders this day, and if possible crown the crest at the point known as Cemetery hill, occupying, if possible, the cemetery.

III. General Ledlie has passed through the first line of the enemy's works, bearing off to the left so as to effectually protect the left flank of General Ledlie's column and make a lodgment, if possible on the Jerusalem plank road to the left of General Ledlie's division.

IV. General Potter will move his division forward to the right of General Ledlie's division as soon as it is apparent that he will not interfere with the movements of General Willcox's division, and will as near as possible protect the right flank of General Ledlie from any attack on that quarter and establish a line on the crest of a ravine which seems to run from the Cemetery Hill nearly at right angles to the enemy's main line directly in our front.