War of the Rebellion: Serial 048 Page 0698 OPERATIONS IN N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLI.

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in proper places. General Terry's division, 6,000 strong, in support and reserve, held our left flank along the Catharpin road. General Hays' division, in two lines, extended to the right, as far as the unfinished railroad. General Webb, with his division in two lines, was placed next, then General Prince's division, of the Third Corps, in two lines. Then came General Carr, in two lines, with heavy reserves reaching to the plank road; and then General Caldwell's division of the Second Corps, to support and cover my right flank.

I was thus prepared for strong and repeated assaults, with my flanks well guarded. Lieutenant-Colonel Morgan, chief of staff, and myself, superintended this arrangement, and no part escaped our observation.

At daylight all was prepared, and as the sun shone upon the enemy's line, I examined the whole front. I found that the line had been re-enforced with all the troops and artillery that could be put in position; the breastworks, epaulements, and abatis perfected, and that a run for eight minutes was the last time our line could have to close the space between us, during which we would be exposed to every species of fire. I at once decided not to attack, and so informed General Meade. The operations of the day were thus suspended.

General Meade visited me about 10 a. m., and, after full consideration, I advised against any further operations on the enemy's immediate front. Any further attempt to outflank the enemy in his immediate presence, with the force I then had, separated, as I was, 4 miles from the right wing, exposed my command to the chances of an overwhelming attack from him, and was not justifiable on any principle, nor was it proposed to me. But either this or an attack where I was, or rejoining the right wing, was all that could be done that day.

The plan of bringing our whole army to the enemy's right, where I was, and thus turn his position, required a complete abandonment of our base. This, I think, was much less hazardous than an assault in front. The commanding general, however, did not approve of it, and after remaining quiet during the rest of the day, and the 1st of December, during which time the enemy still further strengthened and extended his intrenchments, we, on the night of the 1st, retired from our position, and recrossed the Rapidan, on the morning of the 2nd instant, in obedience to orders.

The corps was engaged on the 27th, 28th, and 29th of November, and its loss in killed, wounded, and missing is 289.* General Terry's division, of the Sixth Corps, lost about 20 men.

During these operations all under my command behaved in the most praiseworthy manner, and their strength and spirit are unimpaired.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding.

Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS, A. A. G., Army of the Potomac.

P. S.- The detailed reports have not yet been received, and it is my desire to make honorable mention of worthy officers and soldiers during this campaign when my full information will enable me to do justice to all.


*See revised statement, p. 679.