War of the Rebellion: Serial 099 Page 0183 Chapter LIX. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION.

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starting at 7 a.m. Second. Major General J. A. Mower, commanding First Division, will move his command forward at 7 a.m. on the direct road. Third. Brigadier General M. F. Force, commanding Third Division, will follow General Mower, being prepared to move at 8 o'clock. Fourth. Bvt. Major General G. A. Smith, commanding Fourth Division, will follow General Force, being prepared to move at 9 o'clock. Fifth. The bridge train will move in rear of the Third Division. Sixth. The train of these headquarters and of department headquarters will follow the First Division.

IV. The train of the Ninth Illinois Mounted Infantry will until further orders move with the train of the First Division.

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By command of Major General F. P. Blair:

C. CADLE, JR.,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HDQRS. THIRD DIVISION, SEVENTEENTH ARMY CORPS,

January 31, 1865.

Captain C. CADLE,

Assistant Adjutant-General:

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that I took at noon two regiments to make a demonstration before the rebel works guarding the crossing at the burnt pontoons. The work appears to stand nearly 700 yards beyond the river. The space between it and the river, and for 100 yards on this side, had been cleared by felling timber. Going in advance with a staff officer and half dozen of the Twentieth Illinois into this open space we drew their fire, and found they had one gun and apparently less than 100 men. I then pushed forward two companies of sharpshooters (one each from Sixteenth and Seventeenth Wisconsin) to the bank of the river. The rebels promptly re-enforced the fort with another gun and a regiment with its colors. Silencing their fire, I set forty axmen to work felling large trees on the edge of the open space, but out of sight of the work. At the sound of the axes the rebels opened again with their two guns and extended their musketry farther down the river. Their aim, however, was made uncertain by our skirmish. fire. At 3. 30 I recalled the skirmishers and sent them and the axmen back to camp, as they had to Wade up to their hips to get to the river. The regiments meanwhile, remaining on the bank in an open field, nearly a mile from the river, had made two piles of rails in lines to represent a division camp in two lines. I sent a company down to the river to prevent the rebels from crossing over and learning the deception. I then returned to camp at sunset, leaving instructions to light the fires at dark, to move back to camp at 6. 30, and as the troops move to sound tattoo with bugles and field music disposed along the lines so as to represent the position of such music in a division camp. I left Captain Adams of my staff with the two regiments. No one was hurt.

I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. F. FORCE,

Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.