War of the Rebellion: Serial 089 Page 1111 Chapter LIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

December 31, 1864-7.30 p. m.

COMMANDING OFFICER SECOND CORPS:

Inasmuch as General Meade before his departure promised General Warren a leave of absence, and as the commanding general does not feel at liberty to authorize two corps commanders to be absent at the same time, he has granted General Warren a leave for fifteen days. He hopes, however, that the leave you have applied for can be granted about the middle of the month of January.

S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HDQRS. THIRD Brigadier, FIRST DIV., SECOND ARMY CORPS,

December 31, 1864.

Major BROWN, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General:

MAJOR: Captain Reid, acting brigade inspector, who has just returned from the picket-line of this brigade, reports that during the firing by the enemy this morning several bullets struck inside our line, in the line of the Seventh New York Volunteers and Fifty-second New York Volunteers, although the parties firing could not be seen from that portion of the line. Our pickets did not return the fire. The number of shots fired and the manner in which they came (they report to me) seem to indicate that the affair was on purpose.

Very respectfully,

C. D. MACDOUGALL,

Colonel, Commanding Brigade.

HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION, SIXTH CORPS,

December 31, 1864.

Major C. A. WHITTIER, Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Sixth Corps:

MAJOR: I have the honor to report that an attack on that portion of the picket-line of this division covered by the Third Brigade and left of the First Brigade was made at about 5 a. m. to-day by a force of rebels variously estimated from 100 to 300. It was much darker than usual at the hour of the attack, and, of course, the strength of the enemy's force could only be approximately estimated. Last night a deserter came through the picket-line and informed Captain Thurber, Second Rhode Island Volunteers, division officer of the day, that an attack was contemplated by the rebel pickets. He heard his captain speak of it to another officer shortly before he deserted to our line. The division his line, which was prepared for the attack. The utter darkness made it impossible to distinguish anything, and some confusion ensued. The rebels got in between our third and fourth picket-posts from the left of this division line. But five posts on the line were disturbed, though the attack covered some twenty posts. The division officer of the day says the whole affair did not last two minutes. On account of the darkness and storm at the time it was impossible to procure the requisite information and report of casualties until this hour: In First Brigade, missing ten (Fourth New Jersey); in Third Brigade, wounded, three (slightly), missing, six (Eighty-second Pennsylvania Volunteers). Arrangements will be made by placing abatis in front of the line and slashing at a certain point to make the line more secure from attacks in the dark. The line is quite strong enough now for anything that may occur in