War of the Rebellion: Serial 030 Page 0261 Chapter XXXII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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HEADQUARTERS LEFT WING, December 28, 1862-12.30 a.m.

Colonel J. P. GARESCHE,

Chief of Staff:

COLONEL: Colonel Murray, commanding the detachment which was detailed to go to Lizzard's, has just returned. He reports having come upon the enemy at the ford, 2 miles in advance of our outposts, in such force that he judged it unsafe to attempt to pass. Their fires extended largely to the right of our camp. They had been all day this side of the creek as patrols, and to-night were signaling with blue lights.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

T. L. CRITTENDEN,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS LEFT WING, December 29, 1862.

Generals PALMER and WOOD:

GENERAL: The general commanding directs that at 10 o'clock this morning, precisely, you send a regiment across the creek as skirmishers, to discover whether there is any considerable force in front of us on the other side. Instruct them to press forward boldly, and drive in any forces that may be opposed to them, until they come upon the enemy in position. The object is to ascertain with certainly whether there is any heavy force in front, and their exact position. Before sending the regiment over, at once so dispose your other troops and artillery as to afford the most complete protection to the regiment advanced, in case of repulse or any serious reverse.

By command of Major-General Crittenden:

LYNE STARLING,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS LEFT WING, December 29, 1862.

General PALMER:

GENERAL: As soon as General Wood's command is out of the way, you will cross the bridge with a brigade. As soon as they are over, they will advance by regiments, marching by the flank, keeping regimental distances, with a battery accompanying the brigade in the interval between the regiments. As soon as this brigade is sufficiently out of the way, you will cross with the remaining brigades, marching in the same order. Move up closely to General Wood's command. Should you find it necessary to form in line of battle, you will form on the right of General Wood's command.

By order of Major-General Crittenden:

LYNE STARLING,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS LEFT WING, December 29, 1862.

General WOOD:

GENERAL: You will at once push forward a brigade across the bridge. As soon as they are over they will advance by regiments, marching by