War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0124 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA.

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[CHAP. XXXIII.

of Hanover, and in digging rifle-pits a little in advance of their line of defense between Commerce and Hawk streets. For the purpose of security to our advanced pickets, I have also had some pits opened.

Very respectfully, &c.,

JOSEPH HOOKER,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS CENTER GRAND DIVISION,

Fredericksburg, Va., December 15, 1862-5.30 p.m.

Lieutenant-Colonel RICHMOND,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

In the event it should be determined to withdraw the whole or a part of the forces in Fredericksburg, I request, in view of the great number of infantry and artillery, that the intentions of the major-general commanding may be communicated to me as early as practicable. It is the opinion to defend the city, in case it should be deemed expedient by the major-general commanding the Army of the Potomac to hold it at all. An aide-de-camp awaits the orders of the major-general commanding on this subject. As my command in Fredericksburg is composed of a portion of Major-General Sumner's grand division and a portion of my own, I request that the major-general commanding will designate the divisions to remain in the city, in case it should be his desire to have it held.

Very respectfully, &c.,

JOSEPH HOOKER,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS CENTER GRAND DIVISION,

Fredericksburg, Va., December 15, 1862.

Major-General COUCH, Commanding, &c.:

The major-general commanding directs that you commence the withdrawal of your command from this side of the Rappahannock as soon as practicable, beginning with the troops nearest the river, and ending with the pickets and their supports, which will be the last to be withdrawn, and they will not be removed until regularly relieved by General Butterfield's corps. He directs that the movement be made without noise, and with the utmost dispatch. Have the batteries moved in silence. You can make use of all three bridges in crossing. You are especially requested to give your attention to having the roads on the other side kept clear.

Very respectfully, &c.,

WM. L. CANDLER,

Captain and Aide-de-Camp.

HEADQUARTERS FIFTH ARMY CORPS,

December 15, 1862-7.30 a.m.

Major-General BURNSIDE:

MY DEAR GENERAL: I fear I was misunderstood yesterday, as I have made use of the expression several times of turning by the left.