War of the Rebellion: Serial 088 Page 0814 OPERATIONS IN SE.VA. AND N.C. Chapter LIV.

Search Civil War Official Records

above referred to from the jurisdiction of the corps commander. As chief of artillery of the corps I am held responsible by the corps commander for the condition and efficiency of all the artillery pertaining to the corps, which must include, of course, those batteries in position on the front occupied by the corps, while at the same time those batteries are declared independent of the corps and officers of the corps. Colonel Abbot very kindly allows a major of his regiment to remain at these headquarters, to whom written instructions have been given (see A). In these instructions I am permitted to give certain orders, but the field officer is distinctly informed that my authority over him and his command is limited. As my limited authority is conceded as a favor, not recognized as a right, I shall positively decline any instructions until the question of jurisdiction is settled. In view of the position in which I am placed, I respectfully request that I may be relieved from my present duty and ordered to my regiment.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. PIPER,

Colonel Tenth New York Artillery, Chief of Artillery.

HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY DIVISION, September 13, 1864.

Captain H. C. WEIR,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Cavalry Division:

CAPTAIN: Your communication relative to breaking up the guerrilla parties of the enemy was received last evening, and I have been investigating the best means of opposing them. Colonel West, who has had a great deal of experience in this kind of warfare on the Peninsula, says there is but one way, and that is to oppose dismounted parties against them. The enemy has no established camp that can be surprised or broken up. They scatter through the country, visiting farm-houses for subsistence, and meeting at stated periods for an expedition, never going in a large force and always dispersing when attacked. I have been disposing ambuscades in front of the picket-line, but as yet only with partial success. The line is so extended that the men are on post every other night, giving me no extra force to dispose of to any great extent. Scouting the country would have no other result than to familiarize the officers and men with the country and enable them to operate in the night by ambuscades, &c. The places to ambuscade and watch for the enemy are the various crossings of the Blackwater and its branches. Black Hole Swamp I understand to be the same as Jones' Hole Swamp on the map. Mrs. Temple's I understand to be just beyond the crossing of Warwick Swamp, on the road from Baxter's Mill to the plank road. By ambuscading the crossings of the branches of the Blackwater beyond the picket-line by parties of twenty or thirty dismounted men I think will be the best course to pursue. Another plan would be to take the entire picket force and move out on all the various roads on a fixed day, reconnoitering and patrolling all the roads at one time; it might result in the capture of a portion and disconcerting the majority. I do not think, however, that these scouts have any camp this side of the plank road. I shall continue the use of dismounted men for the present as the only practical means of anticipating the enemy with my present force.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

AUGUST V. KAUTZ,

Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.