of the corps min May, 1862. Colonel A. L. Thomas, chief quartermaster; Colonel D. L. Smith, chief commissary; Dr. T. R. Spencer, medical director; Dr. Charles K. Winne, medical inspector; Captain Malbon, chief ambulance officer, and Captain George B. Halsted, assistant adjutant-general, were all experienced and [of] unquestioned ability in their departments. Major E. B. Cope, my principal aide-de-camp, was a very skillful topographer, an indispensable officer in the column having the advance over a country like that we were upon. Captain James W. Wadsworks, son of the lamented general, and Captain Gordon Winslow, son of the lamented Rev. Gordon winslow, were my personal aided. Captain W. H. H. Benyaurd, of the regular engineers, was detached from General Meade's staff to accompany me, and gave most important assistance. Major Van Brocklin, of the Engineer Brigade, with a light pontoon train of canvas boats, also accompanied me. Captain Horrell commanded my escort of about forty mounted men, which constituted the cavalry of the corps.
The map which we possessed of the country into which the Fifth Corps was about to operate, was what was known as the Dinwiddie County map, prepared many years ago, and republished for our use on a scale of one inch to the mile. It gave no topography except the main streams and main roads. The names of the occupants of the houses did not now all correspond to those on the map; some of them, too, had disappeared, and others had been erected in placed not noted. The map contained no distinction of the forest and clearings or swamps, all of which have ever played a most important part in the Virginia campaigns. I give a copy of the map with which we set out* and one on the same scale of the country as we found it.+
The country in which we were to operate was of the forest kind common to Virginia, being well watered by swampy streams. The surface is level and the soil clayey or sandy, and, where these mix together, like quicksand. The soil, after the frosts of winter first leave it, is very light and soft, and hoofs and wheels find but little support.
The following extracts are from the order for the general movement directed by General Meade, dated March 27, but received by me during the afternoon of the 28th:
The following movements of the corps of this army are ordered:
1. At 3 a. m. of the 29th instant the Fifth Army Corps, Major-General Warren commanding, will move to the crossing of Hatcher's Run at W. Pekins' house; thence west to the junction of the old stage road and the Vaughan road, and from this point will open communication with the Second Corps on the Vaughan road. this accomplished, the Fifth Corps will be moved to occupy a position in the vicinity of Dinwiddie Court-House.
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8. The chief engineer Army of the Potomac will detail a pontoon train of about 100 feet of bridge to accompany the Fifth Corps to Hatcher's Run.
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10. Each corps will be prepared to move with five four-gun batteries - three smooth-bore and two rifled.
On the receipt of the above the following order was prepared and issued by me:
HEADQUARTERS FIFTH ARMY CORPS, Numbers 22. March 28, 1865.
The following will be the order of march to-morrow:
1. At 3 a. m. General Ayres, with his division, will cross Arthur's Swamp; proceed south, via the Goshen house and B. V. Kelly's,++ to the stage road; thence along
*See Plate XCIV, Map 8 of the Atlas.
+See Plate XCIV, Map 9 of the Atlas.
++H. W. Shelley's on map.