for the delay of that corps, which had not left its camps on our arrival at Brandy Station
It is not our province to determine; nor is any criticism implied upon that gallant command which bore the whole burden of the conflict, with the divisions of Ewell
's corps at Locust Grove
, and lost 400 brave men. But pursuing the wrong road after leaving the Rapidan
, brought the right into collision with Ewell
's corps, disastrously conflicting with the plans of Gen. Meade
, for it enabled the Confederate
commander to fathom the designs of his adversary, and withdraw his outlying corps behind Mine Run
Here he was found on the 28th, occupying probably one of the strongest positions that he ever selected during the war.
During the night of the 27th, we marched to Robinson's Tavern; the air was extremely cold, the mud deep and plastic.
With Sunday morning came a pelting November rain, during which brigades, regiments, and batteries were moving from east to west, and from west to east, now exposed to the bullets of Confederate skirmishers, now moving to the rear out of range,—all this incidental to the formation of the Federal
line of battle through the wilderness of scraggy wood of the plateau, on the east side of the gulf, through which Mine Run
makes its way between marshy banks.
The Confederate army on the west side of the gulf extended north and south for six miles, along the crest of a ridge, this position being more or less masked, like that of the Federals
, by thickets of second growth.
Saturday night, the 28th of November, was spent by both parties in intrenching and strengthening their respective positions, the exercise being agreeable on account of the severity of the weather.
In the morning it was possible to obtain glimpses of parallel and ascending lines of earthworks on the western side of the gulf.
Arrangements for the assault seemed not yet to be perfected.
Sunday afternoon we moved from our position in the centre to one which confronted the enemy's left.
We marched three miles through the pines and scrub oaks, and finally took position upon the extreme right of the line.
Sunday night found our lines satisfactorily established.
, with his Fifth Corps, supported by two divisions of the Third Corps and the Third Division