of the river, and the troops ordered into their old encampments, our party was ordered to return to the reserve camp, and at 3 p. m., by order of Captain Cushing, I relieved Lieutenant Fortescue at the Fitzhugh house, near the river, 4 miles below Fredericksburg.
It affords me pleasure to mention that my two flagmen, Charles G. Aiken and Charles A. Griffin, were at various times exposed to a severe musketry and artillery fire, but under all circumstances conducted themselves with coolness and courage.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. H. HILL,
Lieutenant and Acting Signal Officer.
Lieutenant WM. S. STRYKER, Adjutant, Signal Corps.
Numbers 23. Report of Brigadier General Henry J. Hunt, U. S. Army, Chief of Artillery.
ARTILLERY HEADQUARTERS, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
August 1, 1863.
GENERAL: On April 27, in pursuance of your instructions, I made a reconnaissance of the enemy's position at Banks' Ford, and determined upon the number and position of the guns to be placed there to enfilade the enemy's rifle-pits; to crush the fire of his work on the hill overlooking the river; to cover the throwing of the bridges at that ford, and to protect the crossing of the troops. The necessary instructions to supervise this work; to place the batteries; to prepare cover for those that were exposed, and to take command there in case of my absence, were given to Major A. Doull, inspector of artillery on my staff, who executed them with his customary energy, taking with him two batteries of position (B, First Connecticut, Brooker, four 4 1/2-inch guns, and the Twenty-ninth New York, Blucher, four 20-pounders) from the Artillery Reserve. The 20-pounder battery, under Lieutenant Blucher, from the necessity of the case, was placed in a very exposed position, but with the labor of his men he constructed good cover for them. The remaining batteries required for this position were drawn from the Second, Eleventh, and Twelfth Corps.
After performing this duty, I returned to select positions for the batteries, to cover the throwing of the bridges at Franklin's Crossing, and at a point just below the mouth of White Oak Run, near Pollock's Mill, the positions were selected, the batteries designated, and on the night of the 28th were placed in position as follows:
Franklin's Crossing - Ten guns of position of the Artillery Reserve (Pratt's, M, First Connecticut, four 4 1/2-inch guns, and Voegelee's Thirtieth New York, six 20-pounder Parrotts) and twenty-four light rifles of the Sixth Corps (Harn's Third New York, six 10-pounder Parrotts; McCarthy's, C and D, First Pennsylvania, six 10-pounders; Rigby's, A, First Maryland, six 3-inch guns; and Cowan's First New York, six 3-inch guns) on the bluffs back of the crossing; twelve light 12-pounders (Williston's, D, Second United States, six 12-pounders, and Seeley's, K, Fourth United States, six 12-pounders) on the bank of the river, one battery above and one below the position selected to throw the bridges, so as to cross their fire over the enemy's rifle-pits opposite, and prevent his firing on the pontoons; the whole under the command of Colonel C. H. Tompkins, First Rhode Island Artillery.