War of the Rebellion: Serial 107 Page 1033 Chapter LXIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

been recreat to my duty, to my country, and my own conscience had I given him any other. When the crossing was determined upon, with what alacrity I obeyed the roder, the time within which my troops were crossed and placed in line of battle, is the best evidence. This done and our troops posted on the enemy's side of the river, with nothing but frail pontoon bridges between them and their destruction as an army, I proposed that an assault should be made upon the enemy's position with a column strong enough to command success (naming the number of at least six divisions), with the request that I might be allowed to make immediate dispositions to carry it out. after waiting through the night I was ordered to take a particular height with one division and to keep my whole command in readiness for some contemplated movement. In obeying this order according to its letter and spirit, a force of the enemy upon my left, my right, and my center, discovered itself, sufficient to engage during the day every division in my command. Our failure was the natural consequence of the insufficient preparation and the inadequate provision for an attack upon an army like that in front of us. This being the state of the facts, so far as I am concerned, without a hearing or the opportunity of defense, a report from the lgislative branch of the Government has been spread through the newspapers and in pamphlets before my countrymen, stating that had I obeyed the orders given me by General Burnside on that day our army would have acheved a most brilliant victory. Instead of a brilliant victory, it was a sad and fearful disaster, in which many brave men fell - men to whim I was attached by two years' association, and for this disaster, and for the blood of these comrades, this committee say I am responsible. I place these facts by the side of their report, perfectly willing to abide by the verdict which the public will pass upon me.



MAY 1, 1863-1.50 p. m.

Major-General SEDGWICK:

Deserters just received from Early's division, Hays' brigade, Jackson's corps. Their division relieved A. P. Hill, who marched up to our right. You have, I should judge from their statements, one less division to-day than yesterday in your front, when they left. The table of regiments, &c., given you is confirmed by all statements yet received.



Major-General and Chief of staff.

The general wants to hear from the balloon.



May 1, 1863-8.40 p. m.

Major-General BUTTERFIELD, Chief of Staff:

General Reynolds reports that the result of demonstration was that the enemy got under arms. He adds: "From what I have told you, you will understand that I could not move without bringing on an engagement."


Major-General, Commanding.



*For Reynolds' dispatch in full, see VOL. XXV, Part II, p. 340.