Today in History:

9 Series I Volume XXVII-III Serial 45 - Gettysburg Campaign Part III

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June 5, 1863.

General S. WILLIAMS,


About the close of the firing on the left, the enemy threw a regiment or two of infantry into the rifle-pits, first and second lines, about the mill opposite Falmouth. Two companies were behind

the mill. They have three guns in the grove behind the rifle-pits. Some time before, a battery of artillery moved along the first range of hills to our right, and appeared to take post in those defenses commanding the fords by Falmouth. I suppose the arrangement was entirely a defensive one.

Winf'd S. HANCOCK,

Major-General, Commanding.


June 5, 1863-12. 15 p. m.

[General Williams?]

General: I send herewith to the provost-marshal-general a deserter from the Tenth Alabama (Wilcox's brigade), who swam the river this morning just before daylight. He reports only Wilcox's brigade (five regiments) at Banks' Ford; says their pickets connect at the mouth of Mott's Run with Longstreet's pickets; believes they have infantry and cavalry at United States Ford; says there is artillery at Banks'. He does not seem very intelligent, however, or to know much beyond regimental matters.

General Sykes reports the enemy in his front to be pretty much in the same condition as when he first arrived. He thinks yesterday their pickets were doubled; to-day reduced to what they were the first day. He sees no signs of infantry at United States Ford or indications of large camps in its vicinity.

No particular report has as yet been received from General [James]

Barnes excepting a dispatch at 9 a. m., stating all was apparently quiet. I expect to hear specifically as to the pickets in his front. Major-General Sykes agrees with me in the view that the enemy, if determined, can force a crossing at Banks' Ford, owing to their artillery commanding the ground on this side in its immediate vicinity. Every disposition has been made to prevent them at the immediate crossing place, and, in addition, a line of rifle-pits and abattis, with places for the batteries, arranged a short distance back, extending across the tongue of land at which the command will be rallied and the enemy, if possible, repelled.

Respectfully, yours,



[P. S]-Distant firing heard up the river about 8 a. m., supposed to be Colonel Duffie, at Rappahannock Station.


June 5, 1863.

Brig. General S. WILLIAMS,

Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

General: The enemy's pickets are not relieved as far as Port Conway. It is reported, however, that he is not in as strong force

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