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[280] adjacent grounds. Some eighteen pieces of artillery, consisting of Hankin's, Payne's, Owen's and Martin's batteries, were distributed along our lines mainly at the fords and bridges.

From the Forty-fourth Tennessee regiment, Johnson's brigade, twenty-two men and three sergeants, under Lieutenant F. M. Kelso, were detached to man the heavy artillery in Fort Clifton, where Captain S. J. Martin commanded.

At 9 o'clock A. M. on the 9th of May, a small boat appeared in the Appomattox below Fort Clifton, which was fired on and driven off. At about 11 A. M. five gun boats advanced and engaged the battery at Fort Clifton. The firing was continued from the first until after 2 o'clock, P. M., when four gun boats retired and the fifth was found to be crippled. A party was organized to board the boat, but the enemy set fire to it, abandoned and burned it.

For their services and gallant conduct at Fort Clifton, in the fight with the gun boats on the 9th of May, the officers and men have received the special commendation of the General commanding the department.

By 12th May the enemy were in strong force on the north side of Swift Creek, and slight skirmishing was commenced with artillery and infantry. About 11 A. M. I received a note from Major-General Pickett informing me that reinforcements were on their way from Weldon, and advising me not to bring on a general engagement if possible to avoid it. At 2 P. M. I received the following dispatch from Major-General Pickett:

headquarters Petersburg, May 9th, 1864, 1 P. M.
General,—The Major-General commanding directs that you move forward at once and see what the enemy are doing. Further instructions will be sent in course of half an hour. I inclose a copy of dispatch just received from General Bragg.

I am, General, yours, &c.,


C. Pickett, A. A. G. To Brigadier-General B. R. Johnson, Commanding, &c.

I immediately ordered General Hagood to move forward by the turnpike and take the eminence beyond the creek, believing from the dispatch of General Bragg that it was my duty to press upon the enemy with nearly my whole force. I now dispatched to Major-General Pickett that I had received the order to advance, and had given the order to commence the movements. The skirmishers of

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