War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0359 Chapter XXXIII. BATTLE OF FREDERICKSBURG, VA.

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eral Franklin to send a division to the support of General Reynolds, and to report in person to General Franklin, on the other side of the river; the other division to hold itself in readiness to cross at a moment's notice. The First Division was sent across and the Second left behind.

The location and condition of my corps at this time, 12 m. was as follows:

Myself and staff at the headquarters of General Franklin; 3 miles above was Whipple's Third Division, detached to the support of Sumner; in front and moving into position to support Reynolds' corps was the First (Birney's) Division; on the other (this) side of the river was the Second (Sickles') Division, from which had been detached a battery of rifled guns, and sent to General Smith four regiments to guard bridges, and one regiment to support batteries; so that my corps was divided and subdivided into seven parts or parcels, and scattered and distributed over a space of country 6 miles long by 2 or 3 wide.

Not perceiving that I could be of much use of headquarters, I informed the commanding general where I could be found, and went to the front with the First Division. Arriving on the ground, I found the condition of affairs as follows:

Parallel to and about 600 yards, from the river runs the Bowling Green road. This road has on either side a ditch, and outside the ditch an embankment, forming a double caponiere or covered way. Nearly parallel to,and about 800 yards beyond, the Bowling Green road was the Fredericksburg and Richmond Railroad. This latter ran nearly the whole way along our front in a shallow cut, forming an excellent outer or first line of defense for the enemy. Between the railroad and the river lie cultivated fields. The ground between the Bowling Green road and the river is intersected by a ravine; that between the Bowling Green road and the railroad is an open plain, which extends down the river to the hills on the farther side of Massaponax Creek. Smith's (Sixth) corps, 25,000 strong, occupied the Bowling Green road with two divisions (the Third Division, of same corps in reserve), and constituted the right wing; Reynolds' corps (the First) formed the left wing. The arrangement of this corps was-Gibbon's division on the right, Meade's in the center, and Doubleday's, with his left refused, and extending down to the river.

Gibbon's and Meade's divisions had driven the enemy beyond the railroad, and were hotly engaged with him in the wood on the high ground beyond. By request of General Reynolds, Birney formed his division to support Meade, Ward's brigade on the right and Berry's brigade on the left, Robinson's brigade, from some cause, having been delayed on the road. Gibbon's division was without any support whatever. Meeting General Gibbon, by his request I directed General Birney to send two regiments to occupy a portion of his ground and support his battery, which was in soft ground, without ammunition, and considerably crippled.

Shortly afterward Meade's division began to retire, soon followed by Gibbon's, and both in no little confusion and disorder. Every effort was made to rally them, but all to no purpose. Regardless of threat and force, and deaf to all entreaties, they sullenly and persistently moved to the rear, and were reformed near the bank of the river by their officers, many of whom used every endeavor in their power to stay their weary and overpowered troops. A portion of Ward's brigade, under its general, was sent by General Birney to the support of Meade, and they, in their turn, were driven back, but immediately reformed in rear of