I continued the march of the column to the United States Ford, where it arrived at sunset. I preceded the command, and reported in person to the commanding general at Chancellorsville at 6 p. m., receiving his instructions for placing my corps.
On returning to the ford, I was joined by Captains [Williams L.] Candler and [William H.] Paine, of his staff, and conducted the troops under their guidance to the position designated, in which two divisions of the corps were established before daylight of the 3rd, though much delayed by the crowded condition of the road from the ford to Chancellorsville, which required the exertions of every officers of my staff to clear for the advance of the column. The First Division, under General Wadsworth, which arrived shortly after daylight on the 3rd, was soon gotten into position, and the line established by sunrise. Before the artillery of the corps reached the field, some of that of the Eleventh Corps was assigned to me, and I regret to report that two batteries, or parts of two, left the position assigned them without orders, and disgracefully retreated in the direction of the United States Ford. Colonel Schirmer was the officer who reported to me, in command of all the batteries of that corps. Two orders were placed in different parts of the line, and retained their position until properly relieved by batteries of my own corps, Captain Wiedrich's (First New York) artillery remaining until the position was evacuated. Three batteries-Leppien's, Cooper's, and Amsden's-went into action with the troops of other corps. The Fifth Maine, Captain Leppien's, suffered severe loss in men, horses, and material.
The report of the chief of artillery of the corps (Colonel C. S. Wainwright, First New York Artillery) is referred to for the services of the batteries actively engaged with the enemy, as he also was detached at this time, under orders of the commanding general, for duty to the left and center of the position.
During the action of the morning, our pickets and scouts thrown out were constantly bringing in prisoners from the woods in front. The troops were actively engaged in strengthening their position and in clearing the ground for placing the artillery.
On Monday, the 4th, the corps remained in position, the skirmishers on the left of the line occupied by the corps joining General Meade, being engaged more or less during the day. Later in the day those on the right, in front of the division of General Robinson, became engaged for a short time, when an attack was threatened.
During the afternoon, two regiments of infantry, with a section of artillery, General Robinson in command, were sent out, under orders from the commanding general, to reconnoiter the road to Ely's Ford, who reported the position occupied by the enemy in force.
Toward 5 o'clock, a brigade of the Third Division, under Colonel Stone, was sent out to follow up Hunting Creek, in the direction of the Plank road nearly due south, which, after having driven in the enemy's skirmishers, found itself in the presence of what appeared to be a brigade of infantry, with the road which it had followed barricaded by fallen trees. It being nearly dark at this time, the brigade returned to its position. It having been decided on the night of the 4th t recross the river, the troops during the 5th were occupied in opening roads and building bridges over the small streams in the direction of the ford. The ambulances, wagons, artillery, &c., not required were sent across the river.
On the morning of the 6th, between 1 and 2 o'clock, the troops of the different divisions were withdrawn by separate routes, and arrived in