War of the Rebellion: Serial 096 Page 0645 Chapter LVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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

February 22, 1865.

Lieutenant Colonel P. M. LYDING,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Ninth Army Corps:

COLONEL: I desires respectfully to represent to the general commanding the corps the character and results of the artillery firing upon this front. You are well aware that the expression, "Heavy firing on the Appomattox to-day", has become a stereotyped phrase,. both in our journals an those of our enemy. I suppose that since this brigade has occupied its present position there has been more firing upon this front than upon the whole remaining line of the Army of the Potomac. This firing is entirely beyond the control of the commanding officers of the infantry on the line, who are the sole sufferers from the firing. This firing seems to be directed by no general principle, and is directed at anything and everything, and sometimes apparently nothing, and when over with we stand the same that we did, minus a few good men. From the shelling my brigade has not lost less than 30 men since occupying this line, while the artillerymen, protected by strong fort traverses, have not lost a man, so far as I am aware. Take the example of to-day; The fight began by Battery Numbers 5 shelling a couple of cars loaded with commissary stores. It was a long time before the enemy replied, but they did at last open with all their metal, and the result is that to night I have three valuable men lying dead in the hospital and three more disabled. Whatever perils and hardships the necessary exigencies of the service require, of course we expect to submit to without murmur or remonstrance; but I submit that the necessary peril and expenditure of life is amply sufficient without any deadliest or frivolous sacrifices, and, as our batteries always take the initiative, I am unable to understand why it is necessary to expend so much more ammunition on this than other parts of the line.

I am, colonel, your obedient servant,

BYRON M. CUTCHEON,

Colonel, Commanding Brigade.

HEADQUARTERS NINTH ARMY CORPS,

February 22, 1865.

Brevet Major-General POTTER,

Commanding Second Division, Ninth Corps, Jones' House:

I will house to go up to headquarters for a few days. During my absence you will please take command of the corps.

JNO. G. PARKE,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS NINTH ARMY CORPS,

February 22, 1865.

Brigadier General S. G. GRIFFIN,

Commanding Second Division:

GENERAL: The brevet major-general commanding instructed me to transmit herewith copy of telegram just received from headquarters Army of the Potomac.* He desires you to carry out the instructions

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* See 7.32 p. m., p. 642.

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