War of the Rebellion: Serial 081 Page 0310 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LII.

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Plank Road, June 22, 1864-7.15 a.m.

Lieutenant Colonel C. H. MORGAN,

Chief of Staff, Second Army Corps, Army of the Potomac:

COLONEL: I have just received your dispatch. I have the honor to report that my pickets on the plank road extend southward about two miles from Williams' house (where General Birney's headquarters were yesterday). General Wilson's cavalry division is on the plank road about three miles out, and are marching southward on some expedition. No enemy was seen here last night. Some cavalry, which I believe to be Dearing's cavalry, probably a brigade, are said to be holding the Weldon railroad. Their pickets were within one mile of the plank road last evening and an infantry line of battle was pushed up also to the same point, where we fought them and held them until General Ricketts' division came up. I have a party out now scouting down the road running by Williams' house and will report as soon as they return. I will push out my pickets as far to the left as possible. Negroes say Polk's division is in Petersburg. I have the honor to report that my command is nearly out of ammunition. It needs 12,000 rounds of Sharps carbine cartridges, 6,000 of Burnside, and 1,000 of Spencer ditto, and 3,000 Colt army pistol ditto. My horses have not been unsaddled for four days. I have on hand half a day's forage. The rations are out to-night.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Captain, First Massachusetts Cavalry, Commanding Detachment.


June 22, 1864-10 p.m.

The major-general commanding the Army of the Potomac directs that an attack be made on the left (Second Corps and Sixth) at 3.30 to-morrow morning. The major-general commanding the corps desires to see the division commanders in person at 11 o'clock this evening, prepared with a statement of the number of brigades or the number of men they can get for attack, after leaving a thin line in the intrenchments. Meanwhile, division commanders will have out patrols and get up their men as well as possible from the rear, the hospitals, &c.

By command of Major-General Birney:


Assistant Adjutant-General.


June 22, 1864-12.50 a.m.

Lieutenant-Colonel WALKER,

Assistant Adjutant-General, &c.:

COLONEL: I have the honor to state that in obedience to orders I have put three of my brigades in line, and shall connect their left with General Ricketts by a strong skirmish line. I desire it to be understood that this weak and extended formation cannot for a moment resist an attack of any force. It seems to me that these dispositions have been ordered under a misapprehension as to the distance between Gen-