War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0357 Chapter XXXIII. BATTLE OF FREDERICKSBURG, VA.

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fire of the battery was maintained with the greatest energy and gallantry, until suspended to enable the assault to be made. Great credit is due to this battery and its officers.

It is proper that I should speak of the position of my command at this time. The Third Corps, detached from me and ordered to General Franklin (see General Stoneman's report), was divided into seven different commands,and its commander was virtually without any particular control of any portion of it. The Fifth Corps (General Butterfield's) had been weakened by detaching its largest division (Griffin's) to the support of General Sturgis; my grand division being thus subdivided into nine different commands, with the largest of which, the two divisions of Butterfield, I was called upon to make the attack. After its failure, General Butterfield was directed to take and hold a position covering Fredericksburg from the approach by the road, near which his assault had been made. A ditch (indicated on the map B B B) was selected for this purpose, it having natural advantages, giving protection to our troops from the fire of the enemy. General Burnside ordered a more advanced position to be held, which caused a heavy loss in Sykes' division.

When the withdrawal of the troops from Fredericksburg was decided upon, General Butterfield was left to cover the movement with his corps; a difficult task, considering the nature of the position and the time of its execution, but it was accomplished in a most creditable manner to all concerned.

General Stoneman, with the divisions of Birney and Sickles,of the Third Corps, performed satisfactorily the duties intrusted to them. Their movements by reason of their being detached, were not under my observation. A full account of their services will be found in General Stoneman's report, and the accompanying reports of his subordinates.

To General Butterfield and his division commanders of the Fifth Corps; also to General Whipple, commanding Third Division of the Third Corps, much praise is due for the spirit and energy displayed in the execution of orders and their gallantry throughout all the operations.

The members of my personal staff, Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Dickinson, assistant adjutant-general; Major W. H. Lawrence, Capts. W. L. Candler, Harry Russell, and Alexander Moore, deserve special and honorable mention at my hands for gallantry and faithful discharge of duty. Three of these officers, under a severe fire, drew off the field, by hand, a portion of one of the batteries, the horses having been killed in action. For the details of the part taken by brigades, regiments, and batteries, and the praise due the commanders and subordinates thereof, I would respectfully call attention to the accompanying reports.

It is with the deepest regret I mention the total casualties reported by the different commanders-in number 3,567, and among these over 200 commissioned officers killed and wounded.* The devotion and gallantry exhibited by all, more especially by the brave officers and soldiers who fell on that day, has never been excelled in my experience. The country owes them lasting gratitude and honor.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOSEPH HOOKER,

Major-General, Commanding.

Lieutenant Colonel LEWIS RICHMOND,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

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*See revised statement, p. 133.

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