not an error, nor the failure other than accident. The courage with which you, in an open field, maintained the contest against an intrenched foe, and the consummate skill and success with which you crossed and recrossed the river, in the face of the enemy, show that you possess all the qualities of a great army, which will yet give victory to the cause of the country and of popular government.
Condoling with the mourners for the dead, and sympathizing with the severely wounded, I congratulate you that the number of both is comparatively so small.
I tender to you, officers and soldiers, the thanks of the nation.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, December 23, 1862.
GENERAL: In my report to you of the 17th instant the number of our wounded was stated as about 9,000, and the number receiving hospital treatment as 1,630. Both of these amounts are wrong. On the authority of Dr. Letterman, our medical director, I learn that the whole number of wounded is between 6,000 and 7,000.* About one-half of these are receiving treatment in hospital.
A. E. BURNSIDE,
Major-General, Commanding Army of the Potomac.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, December 26, 1862.
Hon. E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War, Washington:
I have the honor to acknowledge your kind letter of the 23d, together with the late order of the President.
In the name of the Army of the Potomac, I beg leave to thank the President for his kind expressions of approbation and confidence in us. This assurance of support and appreciation by the Government of their labors is a source of great strength to the officers and men, and we hope, by our constant and unwearied efforts to sustain the cause for which we are laboring, ever to merit the esteem and confidence of the American people.
The address will be published to all the troops, accompanied by a general order, a copy of which will be duly transmitted to you.
I have the honor, &c.,
A. E. BURNSIDE,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, January 23, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose copies of the principal orders given, which will explain the operations of this army since the late movement was inaugurated. The detailed orders to the chiefs of my different staff departments are not essential to a general understanding of the events.
In accordance with these orders, the pontoons, troops, and artillery
*But see revised statement, pp.129-142.