Today in History:

76 Series I Volume XXXVI-II Serial 68 - Wilderness-Cold Harbor Part II


intrenchments to fortify and defend, Dandy and the right, Barton the center, and Drake the left. The forces under my command consisted of three brigades and about 500 men, fragments of regiments gone to the front, the sick and camp guards. Four regiment of the force were on picket.

My first care was to make the line of intrenchments immediately defensible by a small force. The whole force was set to work. By daybreak of the 10th the entire front of the Tenth Corps, excepting a part of the center, was covered by a line of rifle-pits and obstructed by slashing where the were trees to be felled and thirty-two pieces of artillery were put in position. A large amount of work was done, considering the force at hand, by Colonels Dandy and Drake, who, having charge of the flanks, engaged in the work with a zeal and determination that infused into their men the same spirit. They were on duty constantly day and night, personally directing and attending to everything on their respective fronts. No hearty cooperations was received from Colonel Barton. Captain Walker, of the Engineers, refused to obey my orders. In the forenoon of the 9th I directed him to forego his nice work, revetments, &c., and be sure that the platforms for the six guns and the embrasures were all constructed before dark; also a banquette, so that the work might be used as a rifle-pit. He did not attend to it. Later in the day I again gave him the same order with some emphasis. He replied that I wished to injure him "professionally" by the roughness of the work, &c. Finally I ordered the artillery officers to superintend the construction of their platforms, &c. They did so, and by dark all the pieces (six) on the right were well mounted but one. At dusk I again ordered Captain Walker to prepare the banquette for the works on the right.

Nothing been had been done by him toward it, and the parapets could not be manned. He refused, and said he would not obey any but a superior of his own corps. I informed him that I was placed in command by General Gillmore, and then gave him a formal order, which he refused to obey. I placed him in arrest and ordered him to thus report to his superior officer. He made some talk, and I ordered Colonel Dandy to place him in close confinement unless he left immediately.

On the morning of the 10th I received a note from Colonel Serrell stating that "I have released Captain Walker from arrest." Captain Walker soon after appeared on duty. I refused to recognize him. He again appeared in the afternoon and called for three regiments, as he said, by the orders of General Butler, but he could furnish no order from General Butler. I shall forthwith forward to the general commanding charges and specifications against the captain. During the day of the 10th I received from the general commanding a call for six regiments. They were immediately sent forward. I kept informed as to the state of things in my front by frequent communications with Colonel Howell, as directed by the general commanding.

Copies of two circulares are inclosed as a part of this report.

I have the honor to be, colonel, your most obedient servant,


Colonel Eleventh Maine Volunteers, Commanding Brigade.

Lieutenant Colonel EDWARD W. SMITH,

Assistant Adjutant-General.