Tuesday, the 5th, when General Hunt directed me to cross all the batteries, and select positions to protect the recrossing of the army, which I did with about fifty guns, eighteen of our own being among the number, including Captain Knap's, to whom I gave the most important point, and which he protected well.
Let the general commanding be assured I am well pleased with our artillery in these terrific conflicts from first to last, and I hope he is.
To Captains Knap and Fitzhugh I am much indebted for valuable assistance, the battery of the former being almost constantly engaged. They speak in high terms of their subordinate officers and conduct of their men, to which, as far as I can, I bear cordial witness, and to whom I tender my admiration and thanks.
Lieutenant Smith, Battery M, First New York Artillery, assisted me much in the transmission of orders during Saturday and Sunday. Lieutenant Winegar, in the desire to remover a lost caisson, rode into the enemy's line on Sunday afternoon and was captured. Captain Hampton was wounded on Sunday morning about 8 o'clock, and died soon after. For the eighteen months in which I have been associated with him I have found him, particularly in battle, brave and devoted to his duty.
Lieutenant Crosby, commanding Battery F, Fourth U. S. Artillery, was killed about 9 a. m. by a musket-ball while fighting his guns. My pen almost refuses to record his untimely death. Young, ambitious, highly educated, efficient as an artillery officer, unexceptionable in his habits and character, a Christian, practicing as he believed, the service lost an officer of great value, and it seems yet a dream that his gallant heart is hushed forever.
A list of casualties is herewith annexed.*
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. L. BEST,
Captain, and Chief of Artillery, Twelfth Army Corps.
Lieutenant Colonel H. C. RODGERS,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Twelfth Army Corps.
Numbers 260. Report of Brigadier General Alpehus S. Williams, U. S. Army, commanding First Division.
STAFFORD COURT-HOUSE, VA.,
May 15, 1863.
COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the First Division, Twelfth Army Corps, in the recent operations of the Army of the Potomac south of the Rappahannock:
This division is composed of the brigades of Brigadier-Generals Knipe, Ruger, and Jackson. The latter (owing to a recent severe accident to General Jackson) was commanded temporarily by Colonel Ross, Twentieth Connecticut Volunteers.
The division struck camp at this place on April 27, at sunrise, and reached Hardwood Church, over very bad roads, at 3 p. m.
On the 28th, we marched to Kelly's Ford, following closely the Eleventh Corps.
On the 29th, the command of the corps devolved temporarily upon me,
*Embodied in revised statement, pp. 184, 185.