only after the line was nearly formed. By 4 a. m. the troops were all across, and everything ready for the bridges to be taken up.
General Devens and Colonel Torbert deserve especial mention for the promptitude and precision with which they formed their lines to cover the crossing. The generals of divisions, Newton, Brooks, and Howe, deserve thanks for their zeal and efficiency. General Calvin E. Pratt did great and good service in his labors at the bridges during the night of the 15th. Of Captain Ayres, who has so often been mentioned by me for previous services, I must again speak in terms of high commendation for his services, in the hope that promotion, so long deserved, may follow his valuable services in posting and watching the artillery.
To my staff I owe my thanks for their zeal and coolness. I mention them in order of rank: Major Charles Mundee, assistant adjutant-general; Captain P. C. F. West, acting aide-de-camp; Lieutenant Samuel Cary, acting aide-de-camp; Lieutenant James Scrymser, acting aide-de-camp; Lieutenant Matthew Berry, acting aide-de-camp; Lieutenant J. F. S. Gray, acting aide-de-camp, and Lieutenant Campbell Tucker, acting aide-de-camp. Dr. O'Leary, the medical director, was zealous and efficient in the care and disposition of the wounded. The commissary department, under Captain Scofield, was perfectly managed, as also was the quartermaster's department, under Captain Bliss.
I regret to report that the corps met with a heavy loss on Saturday, in the disabling wound received by General Vinton, who, at a critical time, went to the front to steady his line of skirmishers, and was wounded by a sharpshooter while engaged on that duty. His ability and coolness make even his temporary absence from the command felt, and it is hoped he will soon be able to join his brigade.
I inclose herewith copies of the reports of subordinate commanders, giving in detail the services of their commands.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. F. SMITH,
Major-General, Commanding Sixth Army Corps.
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Left Grand Division.
Numbers 253. Report of Captain Romeyn B. Ayres, Fifth U. S. Artillery, Chief of Artillery.
OFFICE OF CHIEF OF ARTILLERY, SIXTH CORPS, December 24, 1862.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following general report of the operations of the artillery of this corps in the recent operations on the Rappahannock, including the battle of the 13th instant:
A number of the batteries were detached, under the general directions of the chief of artillery of the army, and posted to cover the crossing and recrossing of the river. The special service rendered by those batteries will, doubtless, be reported upon by the officers under whom they served.
The crossing was made and line of battle formed on the 12th, two divisions in line, one in reserve.
The general commanding the corps decided that the ground was such that but one battery could properly be posted along the line of the right