CHAP. XLVIII.] RAPIDAN TO THE JAMES. 291
two ether batteries and look for additional positions ; ordered Col-
onel Tompkins to keep a good lookout and throw in more batteries
should it be found necessary ; 2.30 p. m., reported that a force of the
enemy's infantry is moving down the Rapidan on both north and
south sides. Reserve ammunition and supply trains near Old Wil-
derness Tavern ordered toward Ely's Ford ; also one battery from
Artillery Reserve to take position at Ely's Ford, on the south side,
to cover the north side ; 8.20 p. m., sent notice to Colonel Burton
that General Sedgwick's right is driven in and the enemy formed
across the road, to harness up, have his men at their posts, and if
necessary to move before getting further orders, to go to Chancel-
lorsville to put himself under protection of the cavalry ; to send me
1 or 2 officers to convey further instructions ; 9.15 p. m., ordered
Captain Edwards to take his batteries of reserve of the Ninth Corps
to a position between headquarters and Colonel Burton.
May 7 (Saturday). —5.45 p. m., Lieutenant Bissell took to Colonel
Burton a dispatch from general headquarters notifying him that a
division of Ninth Corps would join him on a defense, in addition to
the foot artillery brigade of Kitching, against an attack of the en-
emy's infantry, said to be passing down the other side of the Rap-
idan. (Note.—Kitching's brigade still on the route from the Fifth
Corps.) 6 p. m., Lieutenant Berlin took a dispatch to Colonel Bur-
ton telling him where the infantry division would rejoin its corps;
9 p. m., left camp at Old Wilderness Tavern for Spotsylvania Court-
House. Reached Todd's Tavern at 2 a. m. of the 8th of May ; staid
until morning, then headquarters moved to Piney Branch Church.
May 8.—Headquarters left camp near Piney Branch Church about
2 p. m.
Report of Maj. Nathaniel Michler, Corps of Engineers, U. S. Army,
Acting Chief Engineer.
HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, ENGINEER DEPARTMENT,
October 20, 1864.
GENERAL : An extract from Special Orders, No. 209, headquarters
Army of the Potomac, August 5, 1864, directs corps and other inde-
pendent commanders to report the part taken by their troops in the
several operations of the campaign from the crossing of the Rapidan
to the assault on the enemy's position in front of Petersburg, July
30. In the absence of Maj. J. C. Duane, U. S. Corps of Engineers,
who during the period above specified acted as chief engineer of this
army, I have the honor to forward the accompanying reports* ad-
dressed to him by Capt. George H. Mendell, commanding the bat-
talion of U. S. Engineers, dated August 5, and that of Lieut. Col. Ira
Spaulding, commanding detachment Fiftieth New York Volunteer
Engineers, dated August 30, setting forth in detail the operations
of their respective commands during the period above specified.
These reports, in addition to the interesting information contained
concerning the passage of a large army by pontoon bridges over the
several rivers encountered on its march, and the facility, ease, and
promptness with which a thoroughly trained body of engineer troops
* See pp. 804, 817.