charge of some of the principal mining works of Schuylkill County, Pa. He has in his command upward of eighty-five enlisted men and fourteen non-commissioned officers, who are professional miners, besides four officers. The distance from inside of our work, where the mine would have to be started, to inside of enemy's work, does not exceed 100 yards. He is of the opinion that they could run a mine forward at the rate of from twenty-five to fifty feet per day, including supports, ventilation, and so on. It would be a double mine, for as we cannot ventilate by shafts from the top, we would have to run parallel tunnels and connect them every short distance by lateral ones, to secure a circulation of air, absolutely essential here, as these soils are full of mephitic vapors. A few miner's picks, which I am informed could be made by any blacksmith from the ordinary ones; a few hand-barrows, easily constructed; one or two mathematical instruments, which could be supplied by the engineer department, and our ordinary intrenching tools, are all that are required. The men themselves have been talking about it for some days, and are quite desirous, seemingly, of trying it. If there is a prospect of our remaining here a few days longer I would like to undertake it. If you desire to see Colonel Pleasants I will ride over with him or send him up to you. I think, perhaps, we might do something,and in no event could we lose more men than we do every time we feel the enemy.
Yours, very truly,
ROBERT B. POTTER.
HEADQUARTERS THIRD DIVISION, NINTH ARMY CORPS.
June 24, 1864-4.45 a.m.
Chief of Staff:
I have the honor to report my troops in position, having relieved General Crawford.
O. B. WILLCOX.
RIVER-BANK (SPRING HILL) SIGNAL STATION.
June 24, 1864-8.15 a.m.
Fifteen cars loaded with troops just passed the Junction toward Richmond, and fifteen wagons down the turnpike toward Petersburg.
Lieutenant and Signal Officer.
JUNE 24, 1864-8.45 a.m.
Enemy's battery on left of Howlett's shelling our picket-line.