order of the commanding general, the corps moved to occupy the road from Chandler's house (white house) to Ely's Ford, the left resting at Chandler's and the right extending to connect with the First Corps. General Reynolds, Griffin's division, occupied the left of this line and Sykes the right, Humphreys in reserve, massed in rear of Sykes.
On the 3rd instant, receiving a message from General French that he was likely to be outflanked in his advanced position, I ordered forward Tyler's brigade, of Humphreys' division, which advanced and engaged the enemy for over an hour, when it was withdrawn, the commanding general having positively determined to hold the line of the Ely's Ford road, and prohibiting the advancing of supports to maintain the ground held by French and Tyler.
The enemy pressing vigorously in the direction of Chancellorsville, and it becoming necessary to evacuate that point, I detached Allabach's brigade, of Humphrey's division, to occupy the woods between Chandler's house and Chancellorsville until all the troops were withdrawn within a shorter line to be occupied. In the meantime, I collected all the available batteries, under the immediate direction of Captain Weed, chief of artillery, Fifth Corps, and placed them in position around the white house (Chandler's), to cover the withdrawal of our troops and check the advance of the enemy, which duty was most successfully accomplished, and I take this occasion to notice with commendation the zeal, intelligence, and activity of Captain Weed.
This day (4th) we remained quiet in our lines, strengthening them by rifle-pits and abatis. About 3 p.m. Griffin sent out a brigade (McQuade's) from his front to feel for the enemy, who, after advancing some half a mile, driving in the enemy's pickets and skirmishers, came upon the main body in force, drawn up in line of battle. As the object of the reconnaissance was accomplished by obtaining this information, the brigade was withdrawn to our lines.
This day (5th) was occupied in awaiting and expecting an attack from the enemy, and in opening roads from the advanced lines to the United States Ford, for more complete and speedy communications. The commanding general having directed the withdrawal of the army to the left bank of the Rappahannock, and having designated the Fifth Corps as rear guard, Humphreys' and Sykes' divisions were put in motion just before daylight, followed by Griffin, who kept constantly a brigade deployed in line of battle, to cover the rear. The troops were all crossed by 9 a.m., without any molestation from the enemy, they not following even the withdrawal of the pickets. The pickets were withdrawn by Brigadier-General Ayres, field officer of the day, after the rear of the column had passed about a mile from the line previously occupied. The First Brigade, Griffin's division, General Barnes commanding, was left to take up the bridges and escort the pontoon train to camp. The whole command, with the exception of this brigade, reached the old camp near Stoneman's Switch by 6 p.m. of this date, the 6th instant.
I beg leave to refer to the reports of the division and brigade commanders, herewith submitted, for the details of the operations described above in general terms; also for the honorable mention of the distinguished names of their subordinates.
To my division commanders, Major-General Sykes and Brigadier-Generals Humphreys and Griffin, I have to return my thanks for their prompt and hearty support throughout then ten days' campaign.
To the men under their command I cannot adequate express the satisfaction with which I witnessed their ready and cheerful obedience to all orders, their submission to every privation and exposure, night