were all started for their proper positions at the designated hours on the 20th instant, but the severe storm that set in at 8 o'clock that night prevented their arrival at the appointed times. The pontoons and artillery were very much behind hand, the roads being so fearfully bad that it was almost impossible to move them. We, however, used every exertion during the day and night of the 21st, up to the morning of the 22d, to get them into proper positions. It was quite apparent during the forenoon of the 21st that the enemy had discovered our movement, and had commenced their preparations to meet us. Could we have had the pontoons there, ready to have crossed early on the 21st, as we hoped, there is scarcely a doubt but that the crossing could have been effected, and the objects of the movement attained; but the detention was unavoidable; the elements were against us. During the day and night of the 21st I had the positions of the enemy reconnoitered as thoroughly as was possible under the circumstances, and on the receipt of the final report of my chief engineer, at 4 a.m. on the 22d, I determined to abandon the attempt to cross the river at that point, but, at the same time, determined not to move the troops from their positions until I had had a consultation with the General-in-Chief as to the future movements, knowing that, whatever they may be, the influence upon movements upon other armies, of which I knew so little, would be very great, either for good or evil. I accordingly ordered the commands to remain in their present positions, and telegraphed the General-in-Chief that I was very anxious to see him, asking him if he would come down, or if I should visit him for an hour. His reply made it necessary for me to voluntarily leave my command, in order to see him, which I could not do, even for so short a time. I have, therefore, in accordance with the best judgment I can form, ordered the troops into their original positions, which, I hope, will be satisfactory. The reasons for this are entirely of a local nature, and will be given more fully hereafter.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. E. BURNSIDE,
Major-General, Commanding Army of the Potomac.
Brigadier General G. W. CULLUM,
Chief of Staff, Washington, D. C.
[Inclosure No. 1.]
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, December 8, 1862.
Commanding Center Grand Division:
GENERAL: The commanding general directs that you will please have issued to each of the following-named battery commanders the accompanying order, and take the necessary steps to have it executed: Captain Waterman, Battery C, First Rhode Island Artillery, Griffin's division; Captain Huntington, Battery H, First Ohio Artillery, Birney's division.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. G. PARKER,
Chief of Staff.
The COMMANDING OFFICER,
SIR: You will leave your camp, with two days' grain forage, at such an hour on Wednesday, the 10th instant, as to reach the open space between