War of the Rebellion: Serial 048 Page 0834 OPERATIONS IN N. C.,VA.,W. VA.,MD.,AND PA.Chapter XLI.

Search Civil War Official Records

It was 4 o'clock in the morning of the 28th before the last of the troops had recrossed the run. After a short rest, I rode to see the commanding general at Mr. Rhodes', and was directed by him to move the corps back to the line extending from Humes' old shop by Zoar Church to Verdierville, which had been previously selected by us, and was the same I occupied on the night of the 26th. On riding to Mine Run to execute this order, I found the enemy already advancing on the opposite hills, and thinking it injudicious to move back under the circumstances, I sent back word to the commanding general and received his instructions to await the advance of the enemy. Preparations were immediately made to resist an attack, but the enemy did not attempt to cross Mine Run, his skirmishers having halted before reaching it, and his line of battle being formed on the crest of the opposite hills. Anderson's division of General Hill's corps took up its position on the right of Hays' line, connecting therewith.

During the course of the day, the enemy brought some guns into position and opened on the right of Hays' line and the left of Anderson's, where a portion of the guns of Jones' battalion had been posted, and it became apparent that Anderson's line would be exposed to an enfilading fire. It became necessary, therefore, to remove this part of the line farther back, and after examining the ground with the commanding general, it was determined to throw back the whole of Hays' line to a position some distance in the rear, which was suggested by Brigadier-General Gordon, who had previously reconnoitered it. This was done during the night of the 28th, the right of Rodes' line being also thrown back to correspond with this change.

During the day of the 28th and the following night and day, the troops were engaged in strengthening the position occupied by them, and it was finally very strongly fortified. The enemy had also been engaged in throwing up works for artillery on the opposite hills, and on the morning of the 29th fire was opened from his batteries, and a general advance was looked for, but was not made. At one time during the day a line of skirmishers crossed Mine Run and advanced as far as the right of the line occupied by Hays on the previous day, the skirmishers on Hays' right having given back, rendering it necessary for his to fall back; but the enemy's skirmishers were soon driven back and our former skirmish line resumed.

The artillery fire of the enemy was responded to by Andrews' battalion, posted in the rear of Johnsons' right, on the north side of the road leading by Zoar Church to Locust Grove, and to some extent by Carter's battalion, which was posted along the commanding ridge occupied by Rodes. Jones' battalion was posted at intervals on the line occupied by Hays, and portions of Brown's and Nelson's reserve battalions were posted on the ridge occupied by Rodes, and also in rear of his left near the Zoar Church road. The fire from the enemy's artillery disclosed the fact that a part of Johnson's line, which had been laid out in a very thick pine woods, was enfiladed, and it became necessary, therefore, to throw his left farther to the front, and Stafford's brigade was moved from Zoar Church toward Bartlett's Mill.

We awaited the enemy attack on November 29 and 30 and December 1. Occasional firing of artillery took place, and there were some movements of the enemy's troops, sometimes toward our left and then toward our right; but his main force was so concealed