War of the Rebellion: Serial 048 Page 0897 Chapter XLI. MINE RUN, VIRGINIA, CAMPAIGN.

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Numbers 152. Report of Major General Henry Heth, C. S. Army, commanding division.


January 20, 1864.

MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my division at and near Mine Run, from November 27 until December 2:

About 2 p. m. on the 27th, when near Verdierville, on the plank road leading from Orange Court-House to Fredericksburg, I received an order to move down the road. After marching 2 or 3 miles I was directed by General Hill to take the position then occupied by General Stuart's cavalry, who were at the time skirmishing with the enemy.

Walker's brigade leading, was ordered to relieve the cavalry skirmishers, and to drive from our front the enemy's skirmishers, to enable our artillery to obtain a suitable position. General Walker threw forward a line of skirmishers, which were soon driven in by the enemy's skirmishers.

After several unsuccessful attempts to clear his front by skirmishers, I rode to the rear to report the state of affairs to General Hill. Not finding General Hill, but meeting General Lee, I reported to him, and requested him to permit me to advance with my entire division and feel what was in my front. To this he consented. I directed General Davis to take position with his brigade on Walker's left, and Kirkland's brigade (Colonel Singeltary commanding) to take position on Walker's right, holding Cooke's brigade (Colonel Hall commanding) in reserve.

Before giving the order to advance, I deemed it advisable to inspect my lines. I found, to my astonishment, Kirkland's brigade (Colonel Singeltary commanding) out of position, having gone half a mile or more too far to the right. Before this error was rectified the original design of the lieutenant-general had been accomplished; the enemy's skirmishers had been driven from our front so far as to enable our artillery to take position, and as it was quite late in the day, I thought it advisable again to communicate with either General Lee or General Hill.

On riding to the rear, I met near my line of battle General Lee and Lieutenant-General Hill. General Lee directed no advance until he had inspected the ground in my front. Soon after I was informed by General Hill that no attack would be made that evening. My division remained in line of battle during the night of the 27th.

On the morning of the 28th, I was ordered to retire in the direction of Verdierville. After crossing Mine Run, I was ordered to halt and take position with my division as a support in rear of General Wilcox. Works were partially thrown up, before completing which my division was ordered forward to a position nearer Mine Run. Works were thrown up in this new position, where we remained until December 2, when, the enemy having retreated, I was ordered to my old camp near Orange Court-House. Walker's brigade was the only brigade of my division engaged on the 27th.

A list of the casualties in this brigade will be sent in; also General