War of the Rebellion: Serial 082 Page 0498 OPERATIONS IN SE.VA. AND N.C. Chapter LII.

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July 26, 1864.

Brigadier General R. S. FOSTER:

In pursuance of instructions from corps headquarters, the brigadier-general commanding directs that the utmost vigilance be exercised on the lines to-night.



Assistant Adjutant-General.



No. 97.

Near Petersburg, Va., July 26, 1864.

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II. The corps commanding authorizes division commanders to order batteries which may be in position within their respective lines to open fire when, in the opinion of these commanders, the fire may be necessary. This authority extends to brigade commanders in the intrenchmets, who are the immediate representatives of division commanders; but brigade commanders are cautioned against directing an unnecessary expenditure of ammunition, or a display of their force. It is very important to keep our numbers and positions, both of artillery and infantry, concealed from the enemy, so that they may be tempted to attack, or we may be able, without their knowledge, to change our positions. This concealment is absolutely essential to success against so watchful a foe. The enemy frequently fire a few shots for the purpose of drawing a reply, and thus learning the strength and position of our batteries. The guns in position must have the elevations and directions fixed for night firing, and for use when it is necessary to silence a fire from the enemy. Should a battery of the enemy open, and if it is apparent that damage is being done to our own troops, the heavy batteries most conveniently located must endeavor to silence it. Hereafter, when batteries have occasion to fire, the commanding officers will on the next morning, before 9 o'clock, report in writing to the chief of artillery why and by whose order, if by the order of any superior authority. An economical use of ammunition cannot be too strongly impressed upon artillery officers. A few shots well directed are better than a thousand fired rapidly and at random.

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By command of Major General E. O. C. Ord:


Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.

FORT POWHATAN, July 26, 1864.

Brigadier-General WEITZEL:

GENERAL: I have infantry for duty as follows: One hundred and thirty-third Regiment Ohio National Guard, 504 men; detachment Third Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery, 79 men; Company L, First New York Volunteer Engineers, 59 men, total 642 men. These are employed as follows: Heavy artillery on fort and fortifications; 47 of engineers on fort and for the magazine; 120 men of the One hundred and thirty-third Ohio National Guard on guard and picket daily; 120