Stoneman the position of the enemy and the state of affairs near Mechanicsville. While at Mechanicsville General Davidson sent a few men to destroy the nearest bridge over the Chickahominy. The stringers of one bay were cut away. The whole length is probably some fifty feet, but below the bridge the stream may be thirty feet wide, quite rapid, about three feet deep, bottom and banks just there sandy, and it is fordable by a horse, though probably would soon by cut up by passage of teams. The banks would at that point require a little sloping to allow the passage of teams. The banks are but two feet or so above level of water. The road is raised some three feet above general level. Below the bridge the right bank is low, but little above surface of water, and thickly wooded for a breadth of about 200 or 250 yards. Above it is, for a short distance, more open, but on the left bank swampy for a breadth of perhaps 100 or 200 feet at least. It is sdaid generally that for the passage of teams above considerable work would be required in making corduroy or other causeways. Near Meadow Bridge the ground is daid to be firmer. Above Meadow Bridge one mile is a farm bridge on Mrs. Crenshaw's farm, and it is said there are private bridges still higher up, also for teams. At the crossing of the turnpike three other bridges can be seen, small apparently. The headquarters of General Stoneman were moved to the crossing at the Walnut Grove Church and Pole Green Church with turnpike, where his troops are in camp, with the exception of Sixth Cavalry, at the intersection of cross-roads from Manly's Mill with turnpike about half way between this camp and Mechanicsville. No escort was furnished and no examination made of the Chickahominy above the turnpike bridge.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, yours, &c.,
C. SEAFORTH STEWART,
Captain of Engineers.
HEADQUARTERS FIFTH PROVISIONAL ARMY CORPS,
Camp near Cold Harbor, Va., May 24, 1862.
Commanding Fifth New York Volunteers:
COLONEL: I am instructed by the commanding general to address you in his name as follows: Your regiment has been directed to proceed to Old Church, Va., on the road to Hanover. On arriving there you will assume command of the forces in that vicinity. Those forces Are: First Connecticut Volunteers, Colonel R. O. Tyler commanding; Thirteenth New York Volunteers, Colonel E. G. Marshall commanding; the Sixth Pennsylvania Cavalry (lancers), Colonel R. H. Rush, commanding. A six-gun battery is ordered there, and will also report to you. The object of this command in that vicinity is to secure our flank from attack, to crush any enemy within reach, to prevent small parties getting into our rear, to seize and arrest all parties coming from the enemy or attempting to go to him, and prevent all information of our position being communicated. There is reason to believe the enemy occupies and uses the Virginia Central Railroad; to destroy communication on which Colonel Tyler, with the largest portion of his command, left this morning for Hanover Court-House. He will return this evening. After starting he received information to the effect that the enemy had strongly re-enforced that place, and hold it with portions of all arms of service. If convinced the information be correct, he will not attack, but return to camp after making a cavalry reconnaissance. On arriving at Old Church, if Colonel Tyler has not returned, communicate