hors du combat, with regiments separated from brigades, and companies from regiment, and fall the confusion and disorder incidental to the advance of an extended line through wood and other obstructions, assailed by a heavy fire, not only of infantry but of artillery-not only in front but on both flanks-the best troops would be justified in withdrawing without loss of honor.
The reports of the brigade commanders, herewith submitted, are referred to for details not contained in this report.
My thanks are due Colonel William Sinclair, Sixth Regiment, and Colonel A. L. Magilton, Fourth Regiment, for the manner in which they handled their commands. To Colonel Sinclair particularly, who had command of the advance during the whole day, and who was severely wounded, I desire to express my obligations for the assistance rendered me.
The members of my personal staff, Captain E. C. Baird, assistant adjutant-general; Captain Alexander B. Coxe, Pennsylvania Volunteers, and Lieutenant A. G. Mason, Fifth Regiment, aides-de-camp, deserve my thanks for the prompt and fearless manner in which they conveyed my orders to all parts of the field.
The loss of Lieutenant Arthur Dehon, Twelfth Massachusetts, my aide, is greatly to the deplored, as he was a young officer of high promise, endeared to all who knew him for his manly virtues and amiable character. The public service has also to mourn the loss of Brigadier General C. Feger Jackson, an officer of merit and reputation, who owed his position to his gallantry and good conduct in previous actions.
Others have fallen of distinguished merit, and there are many of the living whom it will be my pleasure hereafter to bring to the notice of the Government for their distinguished acts of gallantry. At present I must refer to the reports of brigade and regimental commanders.
I remain, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. G. MEADE,
Major-General, Commanding Division.
Captain C. KINGSBURY, Jr.,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Hdqrs. First Army Corps.
Numbers 244. Report of Lieutenant John G. Simpson, Battery A, First Pennsylvania Light Artillery.
CAMP NEAR RAPPAHANNOCK, December 17, 1862.
SIR: I respectfully transmit the following report of the engagements this battery participated in on the 11th, 13th, and 16th of December:
According to instructions from General Jackson, commanding Third Brigade Pennsylvania Reserve Volunteer Corps, to whom I was ordered to report by Major General G. G. Meade, commanding division Pennsylvania Reserve Volunteer Corps, I left camp, near White Oak Church, on the evening of the 10th instant, at 10.30 o'clock, and reported to Lieutenant Comstock, of the engineer corps, at General Burnside's headquarters, who directed me to report to Lieutenant Cross, of the pontoon train; pass the same on the road, and take up a position on the river bank, opposite the ground to be occupied by the pontoon bridge. This was accomplished in due and proper time, arriving (according to orders) at 2 a. m. on the ground, and getting into position, covering the
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