Copy of daily memoranda* taken at headquarters of the Second Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, during the campaign commencing May 3, 1864, with copies of messages, dispatches, &c. The Army of the Potomac commanded by Lieutenant General U. S. grant in person, Major-General Meade second in command.
W. G. MITCHELL,
Major and Aide-de-Camp to Major-General Hancock.
June 12, 1864. -Orders received this p. m. to be ready to march tonight, which is very agreeable to all of us, as there seems to be no hope of breaking the enemy's lines here, they are so strong and powerfully garrisoned. 11 p. m., the movement of Second Corps commenced, First Division taking the lead, moving in direction of Long Bridge, over the Chickahominy. Withdrawal from our lines effected very quietly and promptly. The pickets to remain on our lines, under command of Colonel Hammell, Sixty-sixth New York Volunteers, officer of the day, until the line of battle is completely withdrawn, then to follow the corps. Major Nelson, aide -de-camp, directed by the general to remain with Colonel Hammell. Marched all night-men officers very weary.
June 13, 1864. - Head of column reached pontoon bridge over Chickahominy at Long Bridge at 9.30 a. m., and immediately commenced crossing, General Birney in advance, having been directed to pass First and Second Divisions to permit then to cook breakfast. 11 a. m., wrote note, by direction of General Hancock, to General Gibbon to protect pontoon bridge over Chickahominy until it was taken up. Marched rapidly all day. Head of column reached James River, near Wilcox's Landing, at 5.30 p. m. Corps formed line of battle for the night. Preparations making for transporting the troops over the James to-morrow.
June 14, 1864. -11.10 a. m., Birney's troops commenced moving on board the transports and crossing James River, disembarking at Wind-Mill Point and at upper landing. Crossing of troops (infantry and artillery) continued all day and night, Gibon's division following, Birney's and Barlow's following Gibbon's. considering the facilities at hand the troops have been transported across the stream with remark able promptitude and success.
June 15, 1864. -5 a. m., the last regiment of the corps has just been landed on the south side of the James. The whole corps now ready to move when ordered. We remained from 5 a. m. until 10.30 a. m. waiting for the arrival of 60,000 rations of the corps which General Butler was to send from City Point. Orders received in the mean time to march toward Petersburg after we had received rations. As no rations arrived the head of the column (General Birney's division) moved out in direction of Petersburg at 10.30 a. m. or rather in the direction of Harrison's Creek, near Petersburg. A map which was furnished General Hancock to march by found to be exceedingly defective. Day intensely hot and roads dusty; the men suffering terribly for water during the march, many of them giving out along the road. Had a row with a straggler from one of the heavy artillery regiments, whom I found in a deserted house deliberately engaged in a library (upstairs) tearing up the books and throwing them on the floor. I struck him with my saber and ordered him to his regiment, when he seized his musket from a corner of the room, bayonet fixed, and plunged right at me. I knocked his
*For portion of memoranda (here omitted) covering operations from May 3 to June 11, 1864, see Vol. XXXVI, Part I, p. 350.