War of the Rebellion: Serial 081 Page 0538 OPERATIONS IN SE.VA. AND N.C. Chapter LII.

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HEADQUARTERS EIGHTEENTH CORPS, June 30, 1864.

Brigadier-General RAWLINS,

Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: The brigade commander who was to lead in the assault

to-night, in place of forming his men under cover and concealing as he was directed, made his information in the open ground, to the left of the position indicated. This brought to sharp a fire from the enemy as to detain General Turner in the formation of the rest of his column, giving time to the enemy to throw in re-enforcements into the portion of the line we wished to take, which movement we could see. As our great hope of success depended upon taking the enemy by surprise, and as our only chance of doing that had gone with the long delay, I ordered a withdrawal of the troops to their original position. I have as yet no return of casualties, but the loss is slight.

WM. F. SMITH,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS EIGHTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Near Petersburg, Va., June 30, 1864.

Brigadier-General RAWLINS,

Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: I have the honor to forward a certificate from the medical director of this corps, and to ask that I may have leave of absence of twenty days. I have been unable, for some time, to do any duty which exposed me to the heat of the sun, and as this position is one requiring constant attention I beg leave to ask that I may be relieved as soon as possible, and some one placed in command who can keep the saddle, if necessary, during the heat of the day. As General Butler has informed [me] that he has left for Fort Monroe, I send this direct, being temporarily in command of the troops of third department in this vicinity.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. F. SMITH,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS SECOND DIVISION, TENTH ARMY CORPS, Near Petersburg, Va., June 30, 1864.

Lieutenant Colonel N. BOWEN,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Eighteenth Army Corps:

COLONEL: I have relieved Colonel Barton from command of his

brigade - first, for inexcusable dilatoriness in not having his column in position for assault this p.m. as ordered, after three hours and a half notice; second, gross carelessness and inattention in moving his column over the parapet in full view of the enemy's line, and thereby disclosing his movement when it was possible for him to have moved it under cover of the woods where he was ordered to do, and where the dictates of common sense should have directed him, and which, if he had done, there is every reason to suppose his formation could have been made unbeknown to the enemy. If is with extreme regret that I have to report the failure of this evening's enterprise, and I can assure the major-general that not the least of my mortification is the necessity of calling in question the judgment or propriety of conduct of a subordinate.