field guns in the lower position, the length of this work about forty yards; (3) the palisading with parapet toward the river at the end of the bridge, and (4) a semicircular work to cover the block-house on the left bank of the creek. If the block-house can be sunk two or three feet it should be done, as it would save work. The work covering the block-house from artillery fire should be at least twelve feet from it and with a banquette. A working party of 600 men is ordered. To employ this force it will be necessary to begin on all the works. The working party will be under your control. Lieutenant Cross will furnish you any assistance he can.
C. B. COMSTOCK,
Lieutenant of Engineers and Chief Engineer Army of the Potomac.
HEADQUARTERS THIRD ARMY CORPS,
February 26, 1863-12 m.
Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:
GENERAL: Colonel Bailey, commanding outposts, reports that after examining the dragoons whom he arrested yesterday for shamefully passing through his lines to the rear when attacked by the enemy, and finding some of them hurt by falling from their horses and one wounded, he let them go. the orders received last night will be strictly observed in the case of other stampaders who fall into Colonel Bailey's hands. Colonel Bailey reports a large force of our cavalry passing his post about 3 o'clock this morning. Colonel Bailey expresses confidence in the means at his disposal to repel any attack which may be made by Lee's cavalry.
I am, general, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
D. E. SICKLES,
HDQRS. 1ST DIV., 1ST ARMY CORPS,
ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Numbers 16.
Near Belle Plain, March 1, 1863.
The undersigned hereby assumes command of the First Division, First Army Corps, Army of the Potomac.
G. R. PAUL,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
March 1, 1863.
Assistant Adjutant-General, Defenses of Washington:
Having marched ninety miles in less than forty-eight hours in endeavoring to accomplish the object for which it was sent out, it would be advisable to let my command rest for the day, where they have plenty of forage, at Falmouth Station. Will march at 6 o'clock to-morrow. If absolutely necessary can start immediately. If so, please telegraph. Roads very bad.*
* For reply, see Heintzelman to Butterfield, VOL. XXV, Part II, p. 115.