HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC.
June 24, 1864-7.40 p.m.
Commanding Sixth Corps:
Your dispatch of 5.55 p.m. was received twenty minutes ago. The commanding general considers that the picket-line should be thrown forward as far as it can be consistently with its secure withdrawal.
A. A. HUMPHREYS.
Major-General and Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS SIXTH CORPS,
June 24, 1864-8.15 p.m.
Your dispatch of 7.40 just received. The right of my picket is ordered to maintain its connection with the picket on the right, to advance with them, and halt when they do. I am waiting for written reports, which will be promptly forwarded to you to show that the falling back on the right of my line was necessary to maintain connection and was caused by no want of inclination on the part of officers or men to move forward, and that the impression evidently made on the mind of the major-general commanding was unjust to them. My line is generally as far advanced as is safe to push it, being from one mile and a half to two miles beyond the line of battle.
H. G. WRIGHT.
HEADQUARTERS SIXTH CORPS.
June 24, 1864-10.15 p.m.
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: I have the honor to forward the statement of Brigadier General D. A. Russell, commanding First Division of this corps, in regard to the movements of the pickets of this and of the Second Corps to-day.* General Russell's division is on the right of my line and adjoining the left of the line of the Second Corps, which I think will fully explain any misunderstanding which may exist in regard to the position and movements of my line. I wish to say that about midnight last night I received verbal instructions from the major-general commanding to advance my picket-line this morning, and instructions to that effect were at once given. Early this morning staff officers were sent by me to different parts of the line to aid the picket officers in making the advance, as directed. Still earlier a reconnoitering party had been sent out. The orders were that the picket-line should take up the most advanced position held yesterday and there await further orders, making the movement without waiting for a corresponding movement on the right.
When your dispatch of [10.30] a.m., directing connection with Second Corps was received, my pickets had reached the position ordered, but the connection with the pickets of the Second Corps was uncertain,
*See Russell to Wright, 7.30 p.m., p. 393.