War of the Rebellion: Serial 088 Page 0929 Chapter LIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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HEADQUARTERS EIGHTEENTH ARMY CORPS,

September 19, 1864.

Major-General BUTLER:

The officers on my picket-line report trains as running all night last night on the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad. As the atmosphere was damper than usual and I could hear much plainer than usual the musketry firing in front of Petersburg, it is possible this fact may have made the noise of passing trains more noticeable, but I think it proper to report the matter.

JOHN GIBBON,

Major-General.

HATCHER'S, September 19, 1864-5.30 p.m.

Major-General BUTLER:

We have about 4,000 infantry besides the new regiments, which will number something over 3,000; 1,200 artillery. This does not include the two brigades sent to City Point.

JOHN GIBBON,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE JAMES,

September 19, 1864

Major-General GIBBON,

Commanding Eighteenth Army Corps:

GENERAL: I have read the communication of your chief of artillery, with your indorsement thereon, of the 14th instant. The difficulties suggested therein I trust are not insurmountable. That you may understand the exact condition of matters, a short statement of the history of the organization of the artillery upon our line may be necessary. Colonel Abbot, of the First Connecticut Heavy Artillery, was ordered to report to me in charge of the siege train of the Armies operating against Richmond, and it was requested by the lieutenant-general that he should be put in charge of all the heavy artillery. Therefore it was arranged in organizing this command that so far as supplying the guns in position with ordnance stores and ammunition and general supervision of the artillery on the line, the line should be under charge of Colonel Abbot, he making reports when called upon to the corps commanders and to these headquarters. But in all matters of using artillery, of directing its action, and its disposition in action, of course the entire control would be under the corps commanders. This has been found to work well and without trouble up to now. I hold Colonel Abbot responsible that a proper supply of ammunition is always kept up in the several redoubts and batteries where there is artillery in position. I should not suppose that any troops would be moved without your orders. If, however, this is not satisfactory I would, on conference with you see, what modifications of the present arrangement could be made. I would be happy to confer with you upon the subject at any time.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

BENJ. F. BUTLER,.

Major-General, Commanding.

59 R R-VOL XLII, PT II