War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0700 OPERATIONS IN N.VA.,W.VA.,MD.,AND PA. Chapter XXXIII.

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through the woods. No notice was sent me of the condition of the road, or whether another road could be found by making a detour. I was compelled, with my axes, to cut steps in the frozen ground to give the horses foothold for nearly a fourth of a mile. After accomplishing about one-half the distance, I learned that the whole difficulty might have been overcome had I been informed of it when I was first halted in the column, and I could have been on the road at the top of the hill, ready to take my position behind the two leading regiments merely by making a short detour to the left. I joined the brigade at 2 p.m., and reported to an officer of General Averell's staff. When the brigade went into camp at dark the same evening each regimental commander was notified, but my battery was forgotten or neglected.

I have endeavored to make a plain, simple statement of facts, without comment; but, in conclusion, I most respectfully request, if the interest of the service will permit it, that my battery may be relieved from serving in any brigade commanded by my junior in the line of the army, or, if the battery cannot be dispensed with, that I may personally be transferred.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. M. ROBERTSON,

Captain Second Artillery, Commanding Horse Batteries B and L.

Colonel LEWIS RICHMOND,

Asst. Adjt. General, Headquarters Army of the Potomac.

CAMP NEAR POTOMAC CREEK, VA., December 24, 1862.

SIR: Since writing, and partially copying, the foregoing statement, I have been placed in arrest, and charges sent me for neglect of duty and disrespect to my commanding officer. I therefore request that my application to be relieved from duty with this brigade be suspended until the charges are investigated, and hope that a court may be convened for that purpose at the earliest day practicable.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. M. ROBERTSON,

Captain Second Artillery.

Colonel LEWIS RICHMOND,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Hdqrs. Army of the Potomac.

[Indorsement.]

HEADQUARTERS FIRST CAVALRY BRIGADE, December 24, 1862.

Respectfully forwarded.

At 5.30 p.m. on the 21st instant, a detail from the different regiments of this brigade, of about 1,000 men, was formed near this camp in close column, ready to march; the battery in rear. One of my aides was left to put them in motion, and to remain until they were all on the road.

The distance from this camp to Hartwood Church is about 8 or 9 miles, by one plain, well-traveled road, which leads by the place formerly occupied by Major-General Hooker's headquarters, crossing the Telegraph road a short distance beyond. The road is somewhat tortuous, and on the night of the 21st instant its course could not be dis-