War of the Rebellion: Serial 088 Page 0366 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N.C. Chapter LIV.

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command to strike the shelters in front where they could be seen by the enemy, the men to sling their knapsacks and take arms. After the batteries had opened on our line orders were issued and repeated with a loud voice throughout our line "to prepare to advance." Banners were unfurled and every demonstration made to jump over the breastworks by raising muskets and hats while the whole line was cheering. This lad the effect to bring the enemy partly up on top of their works, apparently waiting for our advance. Opposite our center we observed a strong lien of skirmishers, and behind an extensive abatis (Spanish riders) a line of battle, in strength fully equal to ours. On the right (their left) they did not appear quite so strong, owing to the continued fire kept up. The appearance on our left (their right) was about the same as in front of our center.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. McALISTER,

Colonel, Commanding Third Brigade.

HEADQUARTERS FIFTH ARMY CORPS, August 21, 1864-5.30 a.m.

General HUMPHREYS,

Chief of Staff:

I have the honor to report that it is probable the estimate of prisoners taken from me reported in the Richmond papers is nearly right. General Crawford's division lost in all, killed, wounded, and missing,. So many fell out on the march here that we cannot say how many were prisoners, but it must be the greater proportion of the above. General Cutler has also lost heavily. We drove the enemy back everywhere in confusion with our troops in reserve, but they had such an easy way to escape into their intrenchments that our prisoners were few, not exceeding 260. I will be able to send you a detailed report this morning, but as yet I have not got in reports from all the division.

Respectfully,

G. K. WARREN,

Major-General of Volunteers.

HEADQUARTERS FIFTH ARMY CORPS, August 21, 1864-5.40 a.m.

Major-General HUMPHREYS:

I have the honor to report that yesterday I disposed my command on the three sides of a parallelogram with a view to prevent the possibility of being turned, and the whole command is about here in the space of little over a square mile. Until a perfect knowledge of the country is gained on which you propose to establish the entrenched line, I would advise some similar disposition of the Second Corps between here and the plank road, and then let us extend to meet each other. The country is so wooded that it will take some time to select the proper line, and in doing this the mass of the troops could rest till their position was determined. These long lines in the woods expose them to be easily broken, and it is impossible for the commander to provide against it if