War of the Rebellion: Serial 089 Page 0519 Chapter LIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

line after the redoubts, batteries, and slashing are finished. The connecting line of infantry parapets, may be commenced. Major Michler is directed to furnish you with the project of this line and its connection with the rear entrenchments resting on the Blackwater Swamp. You will retain a sufficient garrison in the redoubt at Old Court-House.


Major-General and Chief of Staff.


November 5, 1864.

Major General A. A. HUMPHREYS,

Chief of Staff, Army of the Potomac:

I have the honor to acknowledge the telegram of to-day directing me to construct, with the forces under my command, the redoubts and lines planned by Major Michler, to connect Old Court-House redoubts with Prince George Court-House, to "begin at the right of the line," which I suppose means Prince George Court-House. As I presume the commanding general is not fully aware of the force now under my command and the duties I have been called upon to perform in addition to my present lines of defense, which I regret to say I have not yet been able, with all my exertion, to get fully completed, I would respectfully state the duties called for and the forces available. By your telegram of the 24th ultimo I am directed to " prepare the approaches," that is, construct a corduroy road on the north of the Appomattox, opposite the Nelson house (as estimated, from one-quarter to one third of a mile in length. As to this I telegraphed you, asking to be advised if it was be constructed before I completed the works for the defense of this point. Receiving no reply to this I supposed it was to be constructed as soon as possible after this. In addition to this, I supposed it was to be constructed as soon possible after this. In addition this I, on yesterday, received from Lieutenant-Colonel Bowers the orders of General Grant to construct a stockade of about 3,300 feet in length, to secure the cattle herds in front of the right of the new line here, a work of very great labor, especially in view of the want of the proper timber in this vicinity. Now, as to the forces that I have under my command, I would respectfully refer to my estimate of the minimum necessary for these which was, besides the cannon and artillerists for the smallest garrison of the eight forts, 1,800 men, besides one full regiment north and one regiment south of the railroad, as indispensable to be ready to move to any intermediate point of attack, especially at night, between the redoubts. I had scarcely this minimum of forces, including all my engineer troops, at the time of the movement on the 26th ultimo, and since then the Eighth Delaware Battalion of three companies, that I then designated as garrison of the Old Court-House redoubt, has been ordered away, also the Independent company of New York Volunteers at Numbers 4. (Fort McKeen), and now the company of Captain Pond, which had been sent on as one of the surplus companies of the Fiftieth New York, is under orders to join the One hundred and eighty-ninth New York Regiment, though as yet suspended, so that now the force I have under my orders that I can calculate upon for all these duties called for, for guards, &c., as I find by sending an aide round to each detachment on the lines, is as per inclosed statement, * only 2,248 effective men. In addition to this I have here at these headquarters as a guard for the public property and pontoon bridges, to receive