War of the Rebellion: Serial 107 Page 0270 MD., e. N. C., pA., vA., eXCEPT S. W.,& W. VA. Chapter LXIII.

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necessary arrangements for the receipt and delivery of the rations, and directed the quartermaster, Captain McEntee, to send the transport to the upper wharf, then in process of repair, as soon as it arrived. At 2 o'clock I went down to the wharf to expedite the crossing. About 8 a. m. Major Brainerd, engineer detchment, who had been repairing the wharf where the rations were to be received, returned to the north bank and reported to me that tColonel Smith was at the wharf with his details, and that the transprt containing the rations had just arrived. I saw a transport then lying at the wharf, and after watching it for a length of time sufficient to allow of its being unloaded it disappeared. I reported, therefore, to Major-General Hancock that the rations had come and were being issued. (It is proper to state that Major Brainerd now says he staed only to me his impression that the rations had arrived. It was conveyed to me in so positive a manner, indeed as a message from the cdommissary, that I had no doubt of the fact.) At


a. m., when the order came for the corps to march without its rations, an answer was returned that they had arrived. The mistake was discovered at


, and the order was at once given for the corps to move. I understood that General Hancock had sent it by signal telegraph, but my recollection is that when I arrived at General Birney's headquarters he had not received it. The column was put in motion about 11.30, as I learn from a memorandum I made at the time. I was at the head of column conducting the march in the absence of General Hancock. I had as guide an intelligent negro, familiar with the country, on whom I depended almost entirely, as the map furnished was very much in error. We pursued the nearest and most direct route to Petersburg, to a point on the Prince George Court-House road within two miles of the court-house. I made diligent inquiry as to the location of Harrison's Creek, but at no time during the day could I find any one who knew where it was. On arriving at the point above mentioned, the column was turned to th right toward Old Court-House, as the only way of getting behind Harrison's Creek. The rear division (General Barlow), followed by the train, was turned off near Powell's Creek, and it was proposed that the three divisions should meet near Old Church. The cross-road on which we moved struckwhat is known in the neighborhood as the Middle road, about two miles and a half from the Prince George Court-House road. Just at the point of leaving, an aide of General Barlow appeared with a dispatch from General Grant, saying that General Smith had attacked Petersburg, and desiring the corps to hasten to his support. I took the responsibility there-upon of abandoning the route to Harrison's Creek and turned the head of column down the Middle road, and rode rapidly ahead to find General Smith. I reported to him on the field, I think, as early as 6.30, indorming him of the exact position of the corps, and asking him where, under the circumstances, the troops ought to go. He said, "On my left," but neither indicated to me where his left was nor sent his staff officer. Finally he referred me to General Hinks for the information. Captain Wilson and myself started back to find General Hinks, and met a staff officer of General Birney's, sent forward to report to General Smith. On my advice he returned at once with Captain Wilson to conduct the head of column to such point as General Hinks might advise. I did this, knowing that General Hancock would have great difficulty in getting to the front to give the necessary orders in time. General Barlow's division, meanwhile, was supposed to be marching from Old Church toward the railroad. Being informed by General Smith that there were cross-roads leading from the road on which