the plan of attack necessary, and the orders already issued were to be superseded by new ones. It was after midnight when I returned from visiting the different commands, and before daylight of the 13th I prepared the following orders:*
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, December 13, 1862-6 a.m.
Major General E. V. SUMNER,
Commanding Right Grand Division, Army of the Potomac:
The general commanding directs that you extend the left of your command to Deep Run, connecting with General Franklin, extending your right as far as your judgment may dictate. He also directs that you push a column of a division or more along the Plank and Telegraph roads, with a view to seizing the heights in the rear of the town. The latter movement should be well covered by skirmishers, and supported so as to keep its line of retread open. Copy of instruction given to General Franklin will be sent to you very soon. You will please await them at your present headquarters, where he [the general commanding] will meet you. Great care should be taken to prevent a collision of our own forces during the fog. The watchword for the day will be "Scott." The column for a movement up the Telegraph and Plank roads will be got in readiness to move, but will not move till the general commanding communicates with you.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. G. PARKE,
Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, December 13, 1862-7 a.m.
Major General JOSEPH HOOKER,
Commanding Center [Grand] Division, Army of the Potomac:
The general commanding directs that you place General Butterfield's corps and Whipple's division in position to cross, at a moment's notice, at the three upper bridges, in support of the other troops over the river, and the two remaining divisions of General Stoneman's corps in readiness to cross at the lower ford, in support of General Franklin. The general commanding will meet you at headquarters [Phillips house] very soon. Copies of instructions to General Sumner and General Franklin will be sent to you.
I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,
JNumbers G. PARKE,
Chief of Staff.
It should be mentioned that on the evening of the 12th I ordered General Stoneman, with two divisions of his cops, to a point near the lower bridges, as support for General Franklin.
The forces now under command of General Franklin consisted of about 60,000 men, as shown by the morning reports, and was composed as follows:
Sixth Corps.................................. 24,000
First Corps.................................. 18,500
Third Corps [two divisions].................. 10,000
Ninth Corps [Burns' division]................ 4,000
Bayard's cavalry............................. 3,500
General Sumner had about 27,000 men, comprising his own grand division, except Burns' division of the Ninth Corps. General Hooker's command was about 26,000 strong, two of General Stoneman's division having reported to General Franklin.
Positive information had reached me that the enemy had built a new road in rear of the ridge or crest, from near Hamilton's to the Telegraph road, along which road they communicated from one part of their line to the other. I decided to seize, if possible, a point on this road near Hamilton's which would not divide the enemy's forces by breaking their line, but would place our forces in position to enable us to move in rear
*See Parke to Franklin, December 13, 5.55 a.m., p.71.