War of the Rebellion: Serial 088 Page 0648 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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armament was decided upon by the proper engineer and artillery officers and approved by the commanding general. These artillery troops were organized into a command independent of both corps then occupying the lines, and ordered to report direct to department headquarters. All morning reports, &c., desired by the different corps commanders for their information were forwarded to them, and all firing was conducted in strict accordance with their orders; but the independent organization of the command was established, and it has been strictly preserved. I have supplied these troops with ammunition, rations, clothing, and, until the recent illness of my assistant surgeon, with medical attendance. They have consequently never suffered by the numerous changes of troops in their vicinity. An assistant inspector-general for my command has been appointed by the commanding general after the inconvenience of depending upon the corps commanders, for the services of this officer had been ordered to the command for the same reason. In fine, the same organization established after much study for the garrisons of the field-works around Washington, has been adopted here. The troops, being fixed in position, while those about them are constantly changing, have been organized into a separate command (Siege Artillery, Department of Virginia and North Carolina), reporting direct to the commanding general, and only receiving orders necessary to their proper co-operation from the corps commanders about them. Their system, established by the commanding general on May 17, and reaffirmed by him at the reorganization on June 19, and kept constantly in force since that date, is entirely done away with by the inclosed order from headquarters of Eighteenth Corps. The new system destroys a compact, well-organized command, consisting of nine companies, under the charge of Major Cook; deprives both him and myself of all control; breaks up my command into thirteen independent batteries, depending for everything upon the chief of artillery of a corps. Suppose a transfer of corps to occur, these batteries would be left without a commanding officer, without rations, without medical attendance, at the very time when the necessary confusion would most invite an attack. Again, suppose the chief of artillery of the Eighteenth Corps should think some change of armament advisable. Under this order, that which has been fixed by the commanding general of the department with much care might be changed without his knowledge or consent. To me the disadvantages of the change appear so evident that I cannot but protest against the order, and request that my command may be left as heretofore organized.

I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

HENRY L. ABBOT,

Colonel First Connecticut Artillery, Commanding.

[Inclosure Numbers 1.]

GENERAL ORDERS.] HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF VA. AND N. C.,

In the Field, June 19, 1864.

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The First Connecticut Heavy Artillery and Battery M, Third Pennsylvania Artillery, will be reported to these headquarters by Colonel H. L. Abbot, First Connecticut Heavy Artillery.

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By command of Major-General Butler:

J. W. SHAFFER,

Colonel and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.