that my cavalry pickets on the Rappahannock as far down as Port Royal, be relieved by the left grand division. This would give me another battalion for the peninsula below.
POTOMAC CREEK, January 12, 1863
Colonel Sargent returned yesterday evening, but had nothing of importance to report. He marched to Morrisville, Elk Run,and White Ridge, sending parties to Ellis' Ford and Kelly's Ford, and thoroughly scouring the country in all directions, without finding any rebel forces. Reports from scouts, just received, state that there is nothing to be seen of the enemy within 5 miles of our picket line, and nothing toward Catlett's.
WM. W. AVERELL,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers.
HEADQUARTERS CENTER GRAND DIVISION,
ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
January 12, 1863.
Commanding Center Grand Division, Army of the Potomac:
GENERAL: I have the honor to make to you the following report of the result of my examination of the country between this command and Bank's Ford, with a view to making, at least, one road for artillery and three for infantry:
The accompanying sketch* exhibits, in a rough manner, the result. The roads marked with parallel lines will serve the purposes of passing artillery over them. Thus, the road for artillery marked out there would begin at the point marked (1), and proceed, in a northwesterly direction, to (2), and from there to (3); from (3) to church (#); from church south to the ford. The portion of the country marked hilly and wooded, I examined thoroughly, and it is very rough; but there is nothing to prevent the passage of infantry over it, or roads being cut for that purpose. The road nearest the river is passable for infantry only; though, for a large part, of it, it would do for artillery. I did not have time to examine the country northeast of that marked hilly and wooded as thoroughly as the other, but roads for infantry can be made over almost any part of it; besides, on either side of the artillery road there is room for infantry to pass at the same time.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
P. C. HAINS,
First Lieutenant Topographical Engineers.
WASHINGTON, D. C, January 12, 1863.
Major General AMBROSE E. BURNSIDE,
Commanding Army of the Potomac:
DEAR GENERAL: In looking at great ends, and at the immense territory which the rebels possess, there is danger of overlooking points