War of the Rebellion: Serial 028 Page 0164 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXI.

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South Carolina Volunteers, will assemble in Fredericksburg, or its vicinity, on Tuesday, the 6th of January, 1863, or as soon thereafter as practicable, to examine into, and report, and express an opinion upon circumstances connected with unresisted Yankee raid of 9th November, 1862, into Fredericksburg, Va.

By command of General Lee:


Assistant Adjutant-General.

II. The court met pursuant to the above order, and, after mature investigation and deliberation, is of the opinion that there was great negligence of the part of the pickets in allowing a surprise; that there was an absolute want of discipline, if not want of courage, evinced upon the part of the men of the then Fifteenth Battalion; that the officers seemed to have done their duty in trying to get the men to stand, but utterly failed.

Captain Simpson's command acted very well in attacking the rear guard of the Yankees, and driving them back, and the failure on his part to attack the main body when he had them at the advantage of being in their rear, and of their scattered in the pursuit of the flying men of the Fifteenth Battalion, can only be accounted for by the fact that that portion of the command had only arrived in town the night before, and was ignorant of the localities. Some excuse for the conduct of Colonel Critcher's command can be found in the fact that it had nearly, during the whole period of its organization, been engaged in provost duty in Richmond, the most demoralizing of all cavalry duty; that its equipment was very indifferent, and that, when relieved of provost duty, the amount of labor put upon it was such as effectually to prevent the commander from putting it in a state of discipline. The behavior of these troops upon this occasion grew, dauntless, out of a panic, which, under such circumstances, might, and in all probability would, affect any raw and undisciplined troops.

Respectfully submitted.


Colonel Fourth Virginia Cavalry.


Major Ninth Virginia Cavalry.


Captain Company I, Second South Carolina Volunteers.

III. The foregoing proceedings and findings of the court of inquiry are approved, and the opinion confirmed. No further action in the case being deemed necessary, the court is dissolved.

By command of General R. E. Lee:


Assistant Adjutant-General.

NOVEMBER 9, 1862.- Skirmish on the South Fork of the Potomac, W. Va.

Report of Brigadier General Benjamin F. Kelley, U. S. Army.


Via New Creek, November 11, 1862.

I left New Creek on Saturday morning, the 8th instant, and, after a continuous march of twenty-four hours, a distance of about 60 miles, reached Imboden's camp,* on the South Fork, 18 miles south of this


* But see Imboden's report, p. 156.