HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, December 13, 1862-5.55 a.m.
Commanding Left Grand Division, Army of the Potomac:
General Hardie will carry this dispatch to you, and remain with you during the day. The general commanding directs that you keep your whole command in position for a rapid movement down the old Richmond road, and you will send out at once a division at least to pass below Smithfield, to seize, if possible, the heights near Captain Hamilton's, on this side of the Massaponax, taking care to keep it well supported and its line of retreat open. He had ordered another column of a division or more to be moved from General Humner's command up the Plank road, where they will divide, with a view to seizing the heights on both of those roads. Holding these heights, with the heights near Captain Hamilton's, will, he hopes, compel the enemy to evacuate the whole give between these points. He makes these moves by columns distant from each other, with a view of avoiding the possibility of a collision of our own forces, which might occur in a general movement during the fog. Two of General Hooker's division are in your rear, at the bridges,and will remain there as supports. Copies of instructions given to Generals Sumner and Hooker will be forwarded to you by an orderly very soon. You will keep your whole command in readiness to move at once,as soon as the fog lifts. The watchword, which, if possible,
should be given to every company, will be "Scott."
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. G. PARKE,
Chief of Staff.
No. 209. Report of Colonel C. S. Wainwright, First New York Light Artillery, Chief of Artillery.
HEADQUARTERS ARTILLERY, FIRST ARMY CORPS, December 22, 1862.
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following detailed report of the part taken by the batteries of this corps in the late action beyond the Rappahannock:
By orders from Headquarters Army of the Potomac, Battery D, First Rhode Island Light Artillery, of four 12-pounders, was detached on the 8th instant, and ordered to report to the commanding officer of the Ninth Corps. By a similar order the batteries of Captains Reynolds, Hall, and Thompson, and Lieutenants Amsden and Ricketts, comprising twenty-two 3-inch guns, were ordered to report to Captain De Russy, on the heights above Pollock's Mill, on the night of the 10th. All these batteries, excepting that of Lieutenant Ricketts, rejoined the corps during Friday and Saturday.
Before daylight on Thursday, the 11th, Captain Ransom and Lieutenant Simpson, with eight light 12-pounder, were placed in position