cions and placed them as sentinels, one upon each side of the suspected pit. Captain Floyd himself kept watch for some time, both upon these two sentinels nd upon the pit; finally, becoming satisfied that he sentinels were vigilant, he retired to his post upon the line, where he was shortly afterward informed by Lieutenant Tolbert that the two sentinels and six men from the suspected pit were missing. These eight, and the three who deserted on the night previous, comprise the whole number deserting from the picket-line included in the report alluded to by Colonel Palmer. The remainder (eleven) deserted from the camp of the brigade. I am satisfied after investigating the matter that the officers of the picket-line were not to blame in these two instances. In the first case, the three men deserting were upon post and boldly ran off under fire; in the second case, the men deserting or at least a part of them) were suspected and watched, but succeeded in making their escape by the disaffection of the men set to watch them. The number of the picket force furnished from this brigade is as follows, viz: One captain, two lieutenants, four non-commissioned officers, and forty men; they are mounted daily (as grand guard) by the assistant adjutant-general of the brigade, and are instructed in their duty at guard mounting by him. This force occupies eight pits upon the line, each pit being about twenty-five or thirty paces apart, the whole line not exceeding 250 paces in length.
All of which is very respectfully submitted.
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
HEADQUARTERS MAHONE'S DIVISION, January 21, 1865.
Calling attention to remarks on circular form division headquarters, dated December 31, 1864.
CIRCULAR.] HEADQUARTERS MAHONE'S DIVISION, December 31, 1864.
I. The attention of brigade commanders is called to the irregular manner in which the detail for picket duty are in the habit of marching and reporting to and at the prescribed rendezvous, the ignorance of many of the officers in charge of their duty, and, in fact, of the rolls of their own details.
II. These details will hereafter rendezvous at the Jones house, the headquarters of the division officer of the picket-line, at 12 m.
III. The details for this duty, forty'; Harris', thirty-four; Weisiger's, thirty-six; Sorrel's, fifty; Forney's, fort men; and each three commissioned and four non-commissioned officers.
IV. Colonel V. D. Groner, of the Sixty-first Virginia Infantry, is charged with the disposition of the new details on the line as to locality and distance each is to occupy, and the same will be hereafter observed.