marches in mud and rain, fording deep streams, using the ax and the spade more than the musket, and ready at all times to go forward and meet the enemy. It is such service as this that tries and makes the real soldier.
I wish to bear testimony to the credit due the Fifth Corps for its services.
To my staff, personal and general, I am indebted for energetic and efficient support. Throughout all the operations I was assisted by Lieutenant Cols. A. S. Webb, assistant inspector-general, and F. T. Locke, assistant adjutant-general; Major J. C. Biddle, aide-de-camp; Capts. J. W. Williams, William Jay, and A. G. Mason, aides-de-camp, and Colonel A. Ames, volunteer aide-de-camp.
I desire to call particular attention to the intelligence and zeal exhibited by Lieutenant-Colonel Webb, assistant inspector-general, and Colonel Ames, Twentieth Maine, throughout the whole of the operations.
Surgeon John Moore, medical director, was efficient and energetic in making all the required arrangements for the care and comfort of the wounded.
Captain Smith, acting chief commissary, rendered me every assistance in supplying the command with subsistence.
I have also to return my thanks to the following officers of the staff of the major-general commanding, who were at various times assigned to my column, rendering me great assistance in communicating with headquarters. They were Major Sterling and Captains Moore and Cadwalader.
It is also due to the activity and zeal of Brigadier General G. K. Warren that I should acknowledge my indebtedness for his efficient assistance in posting the troops when withdrawing the rear of the column.
I also desire to bear testimony to the zeal and intelligence of Captain Comstock, Corps of Engineers, in charge of the bridge-train at Kelly's Ford, and which accompanied my column to the Rapidan and to the United States Ford.
Accompanying this report is a return of the killed, wounded, and missing, amounting to 669 in all. Among them are the names of several valuable and distinguished officers, whose fate the country will mourn.
The accidents of service did not permit any general engagement of the corps as a body, though each division at various times participated in the battle.
The conduct of Sykes' division on the 1st instant, when, in the advance on the old pike road, they met and drove back and then held in check the enemy's advance of superior numbers, was a brilliant operation, adding to the already well-earned reputation of that gallant body of soldiers. So also the advance of Tyler's and Allabach's brigades, of Humphreys' division, to meet the advancing columns of the enemy, flushed with the success of having compelled our line to fall back, was in the highest degree creditable, particularly when most of this force were nine-months' men, whose terms of service had very nearly expired.
Finally, the conduct of the brigades of Griffin, the one advanced on the 30th [ultimo] and the other on the 4th [instant], proved by their steadiness and coolness that this division only wanted a fair opportunity to show that the laurels acquired in so many previous fields were still fresh and undimmed.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. G. MEADE,
Major-General, Commanding Fifth Army Corps.
Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS,
Asst. Adjt. General, Hdqrs. Army of the Potomac.