War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0529 Chapter XIV. WITHDRAWAL OF CONFEDERATE FORCES.

Search Civil War Official Records

was as follows: Hampton's brigade in advance, consisting of four regiments and three batteries. Of this, two regiments and two batteries. Of this, two regiments and two batteries were at Wolf Shoals and Davis' Ford, on the Occoquan; the Legion, with one battery, at Colchester, and one regiment near the village of Occoquan, at the forks of the Telegraph and Brentsville roads. This line was 10 miles in extent. In support the Texas brigade, Colonel Archer; three regiments of this were posted on the Telegraph road, between and upon Neabsco and Powell's Runs, with one battery. The First Texas at Talbot's Hill, on the Quantico, to cover the left of the Evansport battery. In support the Third Brigade; Fifth Alabama battalion and one company of the First Tennessee at Cockpit battery; one regiment and one battery at Dumfries; and four regiments and one battery on Powell's Run, 3 miles above Dumfries, equidistant from Evansport, Wolf Run Shoals, and Colchester. One squadron of cavalry and the legion of cavalry picketed the Potomac from Evansport to Colchester and the Occoquan in front.

To maintain this force provisions and forage had to be hauled over the worst kind of roads in no case less than 16 miles, and to many of the regiments a distance of 30 to 40. Regimental and brigade teams had during the whole winter been in constant requisition to maintain even the daily supply, which exhausting labor had greatly weakened them. I had finally to resort to pack-mules, and often to half rations, on account of the roads.

I mention this and the distribution to show the difficulties of the country and the position from which I had to withdraw my command. The enemy was in force in front and on the river, and daily skirmishers took place. Such was the condition when General Johnston gave me confidential orders to prepare to move on Fredericksburg whenever he should give the signal. I was to be ready at any moment, and yet was in the embarrassing position of being obliged to subsist my men from day to day. The trip for supplies, if successful, occupied three days, and I might have, while the wagons are off, to move without them, abandoning everything.

In a district full of disaffection great caution was necessary. I communicated my orders to Colonels Hampton and Archer, and commenced sending off sick, baggage, &c., preparing teams, &c.

At midday on the 7th I received orders to move at daylight on the 8th. A copy of the order (herewith, marked A) was sent to every regiment in the command. I had twenty-eight field guns, with their caissons and ammunition, the extra ammunition in hand, that of the sick and furloughed men and their arms, and the camp equipage and baggage of 11,200 men to move.

1st. As to the Third Brigade, under my immediate supervision, not a cartridge was abandoned or destroyed, nor any public property whatever, except a few worn-out tents and 8 condemned wagons, without animals to haul them. It should be observed that the tents of the Third Brigade, their own property, brought with them to Harper's Ferry and in use from there to Dumfries, had been condemned as entirely worn-out some months before, on the troops getting hunted, and no requisition for new ones had been made on the Quartermaster's Department. A few of the best were brought, together with the entire quartermaster's stores, tools, &c. Most of the regiments also succeeded in getting off a large amount of private baggage. A portion was distributed and concealed, with a view to recovery, at farms in the rear, and a portion given to poor and loyal people in the vicinity.

34 R R-VOL V