War of the Rebellion: Serial 082 Page 0469 Chapter LII. CORRESPONDENCE,ETC.-UNION.

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Fourth Division, 200 men. Two deserters from Alabama regiments, Ninth and Fourteenth, were received this evening and forwarded to army headquarters. The enemy have discovered the large fort on my left and have been firing at it to-day.


Major-General, Commanding.


Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

GENERAL: I asked the sanction of the general commanding Army of the Potomac to my consolidating the Fourth Division with the others on the 20th instant, which was refused. Yesterday I received the communication asking for the project of my proposed consolidation. I immediately sent for Colonel Kitching, commanding brigade, to consult him, he having been by Special Orders, No. 195, paragraph 2, of July 22, ordered away. My wish was to retain him in command of a brigade, in which capacity he has been officially commended by General Meade and also recommended by me for promotion, and to propose to him the sending the Fifteenth New York Heavy Artillery instead of the Sixth.

I found his supposed wishes had been acted upon through General Hunt, from General Hunt's previous knowledge, without referring to Colonel Kitching or myself. This makes an important change in may plan of consolidation, which was to transfer Colonel Kitching with his brigade to another, giving him the command of it. If I were to transfer the Fifteenth I might not get a desirable brigade commander thereby. I then proposed to consolidate the two brigades of the Fourth Division into one, to take the place of the heavy artillery brigade; this would leave me a brigadier-general for assignment. I also consulted General Culter about consolidating, and his feelings personally are opposed to it. He thinks it would be a reflection upon him; he gives his views in writing, which I submit. I have always tried to consult General Cutler's feelings, as he is a most worthy man, and as far as possible the feelings of all good men. This has been very difficult for me to do satisfactory. Besides there being two distinct corps in the original reorganization, there were the Pennsylvania Reserves, which could not be separated or consolidated, the Regular Brigade and the Maryland Brigade, without producing dissatisfaction and perhaps injury to the service. Unless I can dispose of these things to satisfy the principal officers concerned, it would perhaps not be well to do it. General Cutler's opposition being mainly one of personal character, I would suggest that preliminary to this consolidation a command be given him elsewhere of equal importance. He has served in this army long and faithfully, and I believe would be pleased with some position that gave him some rest from his long continued duties in the field.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General of Volunteers.