War of the Rebellion: Serial 095 Page 0902 N. AND SE. VA., N. C., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LVIII.

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and the necessary instructions were promptly issued to the various commanders, designating the point of attack, formation of troops, &c., a copy of which is as follows:


April 1, 1865.

In accordance with instructions received from Major-General Meade an attack will be made at 4 a. m. to-morrow upon that part of the enemy's line between the house burnt by us on Saturday (the Jones house) and our left. The First division will take the right, the Second Division the center, and the Third Division the left-the Second Division being in advance, the First and Third, on the right and left, being in echelon, the entire formation being by brigade, with regimental front, small regiments being consolidated so as not too much to extend the column, and the moved to as near the picket-line as practicable, will advance promptly at 4 a. m., on the firing of a gun from Fort Fisher. The entire picket-line will be advanced at the same time, and that part of it on the right of the attacking columns will gain any point in the enemy's works that it may be practicable for it to carry-the parts of the line which it may be impossible to advance keeping up a heavy fire upon the enemy. The garrisons of the works from Fort Howard to Fort Urmston, reduced to the minimum, will be maintained, as well as those of Forts Gregg, Sampson, and Cummings, and also the one-tenth of the force in the rifle-pits connecting the works named, the line between Forts Urmston and Gregg being abandoned. The five batteries already designated to move with the corps will accompany the attack, one being assigned to each division, and the other two being held in reserve, while the remainder of the batteries now present will remain in the works to the right of fort Fisher, and to the left of Fort Gregg, as may be directed by the chief of artillery, under special instructions. The troops in the forts on the rear line to the left of Fort Cummings will be returned to their commands to-night in time to take part in the attack. Pioneers should be distributed along the front of the assaulting columns, to clear away abatis rendered most effective. The garrisons left behind will be held ready to repulse any counter attack of the enemy, and the infantry promptly to join their commands, and the artillery to go to the rear upon receiving orders to that effect.

In forming the column for attack it is recommended that the First Division be formed left in front, and the Third Division right in front, so as to form readily to the right and left respectively, if necessary.

The troops should start from their camps to-night and proceed to the vicinity of Forts Fisher and Welch in time to move to the positions assigned them near the picket-line and complete their formation before 4 a. m.

The quartermaster's, commissary, and medical department will be in readiness to conform to the movements referred to.

The necessity of perfect silence in this movement up to the time of making the assault cannot be too strongly impressed upon the command. Should we succeed in breaking the enemy's line and gaining the Boydton plank road, the subsequent movements of the corps will be in conformity with the orders of Major-General Meade, already promulgated.

By command of Major-General Wright:


Assistant Adjutant-General.

In addition to the above arrangements, a detachment of twenty picked artillerymen, under Byt. Major G. W. Adams, Battery G, First Rhode Island Light Artillery, who had volunteered for the duty, accompanied the assaulting columns with the purpose of promptly turning any captured guns upon the enemy. This detachment, which had been carefully supplied by Major Adams with reamers, lanyards, and friction primers, was of great service in the operations subsequent to the assault in turning the captured guns upon the enemy's columns and works, thereby adding much to the demoralization of the rebel forces. The assaulting columns were in position before 4 a. m.; but the unusual darkeners at that hour rendered any connected movement impracticable, and the columns did not therefore move till 4.40 a. m., when it had become light enough for the men to see to step, though nothing was discernible beyond a few yards dis-