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[71] September, Kearny's Division was engaged at Chantilly, Birney's Brigade taking a prominent part; Kearny was killed in this action. The losses of the corps at Manassas, including Bristoe, Groveton and Chantilly, amounted to 260 killed, 1,525 wounded and 453 missing; total, 2,238. Hooker's Division numbered fully 10,000 men at Yorktown, and received a reenforcement of about 3,000 more; after Manassas, it drew rations at Fairfax Station for only 2,400 men. The arduous nature of its campaigns, as well as the bullets of the enemy, had told sadly on its numbers.

The corps was so reduced by its losses that it was ordered into the defences of Washington to rest and recruit, remaining there during the Maryland campaign, and hence was not present at Antietam. In November it joined Burnside's Army, then on its way to Fredericksburg, and arriving at Falmouth on the 24th, encamped there until the battle of December 13th. In the meantime, General Hooker had been promoted to the command of the Centre Grand Division, composed of the Third and Fifth Corps; General George Stoneman had been assigned to the command of the Third Corps; General Birney to that of the First Division, vice Kearny killed; General Sickles to the Second Division, vice Hooker promoted; and a third division, under General A. W. Whipple had been added. The corps was not prominently engaged at Fredericksburg, although under a heavy fire; still, its casualties amounted to 145 killed, 837 wounded and 202 missing; total 1,184, over half of which occurred in Ward's Brigade of Birney's Divison. After the battle the corps returned to its quarters at Falmouth, where it spent the winter of 1862-63. General Sickles was promoted to the command of the corps, and General Hiram Berry to that of Sickles' Division.

On May 1, 1863, the corps broke camp and marched to Chancellorsville, an eventful field in its history; a battle in which the brunt of the fighting fell on the Third and Twelfth corps. It took 17,568 men, including non-combatants, on that campaign, losing 378 killed, 2,634 wounded and 1,090 missing; total 4,102. Generals Berry and Whipple were among the killed.

The depleted ranks were still further lessened by the loss of four New York regiments whose two-years term of enlistment had expired; a nine-months regiment from Pennsylvania had also gone home. The corps was accordingly consolidated into two divisions; the First under General Birney, and the Second under General Andrew A. Humphreys, an able officer who had distinguished himself as a division commander at Fredericksburg.

At Gettysburg, the corps took a prominent part in the battle of the second day, and although forced to fall back from its untenable position on the Emmittsburg Road, it did not do so until it had exacted a fearful price from its assailants. Its losses at Gettysburg were 578 killed, 3,026 wounded, and 606 missing; total, 4,210 out of less than 10,000 actually engaged. The morning report showed 11,924 present for duty equipped. General Sickles was seriously wounded, losing a leg; he left the corps, and General Birney succeeded temporarily to the command.

In July, 1863, the corps was increased by the accession of French's Division, which had been in garrison at Harper's Ferry and was composed, mostly, of regiments with comparatively full ranks, although they had been in service several months. General French was assigned to the command of the corps. During the pursuit of Lee, after Gettysburg, a part of the corps was engaged at Wapping Heights, Va., July 23d, an action in which the Excelsior Brigade was prominently engaged. Another minor affair occured at Kelly's Ford, Va., November 7, 1863, in which some regiments of Birney's (First) Division were under fire.

In the Mine Run campaign a sharp fight took place at Locust Grove, Va., in which Carr's (3d) Division sustained considerable loss, the principal part of the casualties in that campaign occurring in the Third Corps. At this time General French was still in command of the corps, with Generals Birney, Prince and Carr in command of the divisions.

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