War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0094 OPERATIONS IN N.VA.,W.VA.,MD.,AND PA. Chapter XXXIII.

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corps were engaged, and was told that they were not. I returned to headquarters, passing Captain Cutts, who arrived as I left General Franklin, and reported the information to General Burnside, who seemed at the time annoyed at the smallness of the force engaged, and expressed his surprise that none of General Smith's corps had been put into the fight. It was about 12.30 o'clock when I arrived with my report at headquarters.


Captain and Aide-de-Camp.

I next sent Captain Cutts* with an order to General Franklin to advance his right and front. Captain Cutts states in his note-book that he carried the order to General Franklin, and the general said to him that it was impossible to advance, upon which he returned to me, to show why General Franklin thought it was impossible to advance. When he communicated the reply to me, he says that my reply was:

But he [General Franklin] must advance.

I then sent Captain Goddard* to General Franklin with an order which the following statement will explain:

I was sent on the day of the battle of Fredericksburg to General Franklin, on the left, with this order General Burnside: "Tell General Franklin, with my compliments, that I wish him to make a vigorous attack with his whole force; our right is hard pressed." This order was given me about 1.30 o'clock in the afternoon, and I delivered it to General Franklin in the presence of General Hardie before 2.30 o'clock.


Captain and Aide-de-Camp.

I had before this sent to General Franklin an order, by telegraph, directing him to make an attack upon the heights immediately in his front.

General Sumner's corps was held in position until after 11 o'clock, in the hope that Franklin would make such an impression upon the enemy as would enable him [Sumner] to carry the enemy's line near the Telegraph and Plank roads. Feeling the importance of haste, I now directed General Sumner to commence his attack. He had already issued his orders, but had, in accordance with my instructions, directed his troops to be held in readiness for the attack, but not to move without further orders from him.

The enemy was strongly posted along the crest in his front, covered by rifle-pits and batteries, which gave him a commanding sweep of the ground over which our troops had to pass. I supposed when I ordered General Sumner to attack that General Franklin's attack on the left would have been made before General Sumner's men would be engaged, and would have caused the enemy to weaken his forces in front of Sumner, and I therefore hoped to break through their lines at this point. It subsequently appeared that this attack had not been made at the time General Sumner moved, and, when it was finally made, proved to be in such small force as to have had no permanent effect upon the enemy's line.

General Sumner's order directed the troops of General Couch's corps to commence the attack. French's division led, supported by Hancock's and finally by Howard's. Two divisions of Willcox's corps [Sturgis' and Getty's] participated in the attack. Never did men fight more persistently than this brave grand division of General Sumner. The officers and men seemed to be inspired with the lofty courage and determined spirit of their noble commander, but the position was too strong for them.

I beg to refer to the report of General Sumner for a more extended


*See the statements in full of these two officers, p.128.