trees. Being unable to use his cavalry with any effect, General De Trobriand's skirmishers, under his personal supervision, quickly drove the enemy from their rifle-pits, and secured the position at 9.30 a. m. This brigade was then rapidly crossed on the dam and put in position, covering the road, and his pickets extended to meet those of General Smyth, ordered to the crossing at Armstrong's Mill. With considerable difficulty a bridge about 100 feet in length was thrown across the stream. West's brigade, of Mott's division, followed De Trobiand's, and was subsequently crossed to the south side of Hatcher's Run, completing the security of the position. Caption Rider's battery of 12-pounders was put in position here.
Smyth's division had been directed by me to diverge to the right from the Vaughan road near the Cummings house, secure the crossing at Armstrong's Mill, cover it and extend to the right past the R Armstrong house, and rest his right upon the small swamp in that vicinity. Lieutenant Adams' battery of rifled guns was sent with him. These instructions General Smyth executed at once, finding directly in front of his right, about 1,000 yards distant, the enemy's entrenchments, a redoubt, with the connecting curtains, being in full view. These works had been erected since the last movement in December. General Mott, by my direction, sent his rear brigade, McAllister's, to the vicinity of the Tucker house, with instructions to take position covering the Vaughan road a small parallel road connecting the Squirrel Level road with Armstrong's Mill, the right to rest near the swamp.west of and rear to the Squirrel Level road, and the left to extend toward the swamp, on which Smyth's right was to rest. Smyth's division was relied upon to fill up the interval, should there be one. These orders were promptly executed. All the troops were directed to intrench immediately upon taking up position. Major Hess, Third Pennsylvania Cavalry, was ordered to open communication,m on the south side of Hatcher's Run, between Mott's right and Smyth's left, and to move out to Dabney's Mill, and establish a post of observation there, and upon effecting this to move out the Vaughan road and communicate with Major-General Warren. While he was endeavoring to carry out the first part of this direction, I proceeded to examine Smyth's and McAllister's positions. It was here that I expected the attack of the enemy. Finding that McAllister was unable to cover the ground assigned to him, with the concurrence of the commanding general of the army, I telegraphed to Major-General, whose division had remained in the entrenchments, to send out a strong brigade quickly to the Tuckner house, to relieve McAllister's right and enable that officer to extend to his left and connect with Smyth. Major Hess was unable to carry out the first part of his instructions, but the pickets of the two division connected along the south branch of Hatcher's Run. The enemy's infantry pickets were driven from the Vaughan road, and communication established with Major-general Warren.
At about 4 p. m. the enemy opened with artillery from one of his redoubts that enfiladed the road leading to Armstrong's Mill from the Vaughan road, but doing no damage, and receiving no reply, the fire ceased. At 4.30 p. m. Ramsey's brigade (Fourth Brigade, First Division) 1,100 strong, reached the Tucker house, and enabled McAllister to extend toward Smyth's right. He had not yet quite completed this change of position when, at 5.15 p. m., the enemy, having concentrated a strong force in the vicinity of the Thompson house (since ascertained to be the chief parts of Hill's and Gordon's corps), made a sudden attack upon the right of Smyth and the left of McAllister. This attack was