War of the Rebellion: Serial 088 Page 0752 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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zation and decided he would consider a proposition to put all the old First Corps regiments into one division if a suitable scheme was presented. This I found attended with difficulties. To each of the brigades new troops had been added during the campaign, and an effort had been made to distribute them among the old troops. These new troops would have to be taken from the old First Corps brigades and transferred to the Fifth Corps brigades. The brigade taken from General Griffin would thus have to be replaced by entirely new troops, and a new organization, and he would have to reorganize his other brigades if he put old troops into the new one, and similar arrangements would have to be made with General Ayres. The division to be formed of the old First Corps would have to be consolidated from five brigades to three, and thus the records of the regiments would be brought into confusion. The division to be formed out of the old First Corps regiments would be inordinately large in comparison with the others and be composed of all old troops. There are advantages to both old and new troops in being mingled together, and by this arrangement it would be lost to both. The proper time for making these changes, however, was about the 10th of the month, so that the last monthly reports could be completed before the command changed from the commanders to whom the reports had to be made.

Pending the arrival of this time our movement took place toward the Weldon railroad, and in the three days of battle there the corps suffered a further depletion of 3,959 men. It fell principally upon Ayres' and Crawford's divisions. The former lost 54 officers and 1,219 men, and the Sixth New York Heavy Artillery having been ordered to Washington, the remaining regiment of that brigade was attacked to one of the other brigades, leaving but two brigades. In General Crawford's division the two veteran regiments, constituting a small brigade, and Colonel Lyle's brigade lost so heavily that both combined left but a very small brigade. The other brigade of this division also lost heavily. General Cutler in the last of these engagements was so severely wounded as to be compelled to leave the field. I therefore transferred temporarily one of his brigades, Colonel Hofmann's, to General Ayres, and the other, General Bragg's, to General Crawford.

After consultation with the general commanding Army of the Potomac on the subject of reorganization after these battles on the Weldon railroad, he adhered to the determination to have the regiments of the old First Corps made into one division. On having a return made up of the strength present in these old regiments I found it was 5,781, which by mistake was taken by me as present for duty, and this I knew was more than half the strength of the corps. I then suggested that the old Fifth Corps be also made into one division, which was acceded to. Upon investigation I found my mistake in the 5,781 for duty, as it included all in arrest and confinement and on special and daily duty.

According to the tri-monthly report for August 31 the strength of the corps is:

Aggregate

present.

Old regiments of First Corps ........................ 5,781

Field artillery ..................................... 1,397

Old regiments of Fifth Corps and new regiments

assigned during campaign, including heavy artillery

and Maryland Brigade ................................10,537

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17,715