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 Ferrero's Division had a sharp little fight at Blue Springs, Tenn., October 10, 1863, and the whole corps was engaged, November 16th, at Campbell's Station. This was followed by the occupation of Knoxville and the gallant defence against Longstreet's forces, terminating, December 5th, in the defeat and withdrawal of the enemy. The campaign in East Tennessee was a memorable one by reason of the Siege of Knoxville, and the unparalleled privations endured by the men. General Willcox resumed command of the corps on January 17, 1864, relieving General Potter; on the 26th, Parke relieved Willcox, who then took command of the Second Division. General Burnside was again assigned to duty as commander of his old corps, which was ordered to repair to Annapolis, Md., for reorganization. In April, the corps was assembled there, and was composed of the four divisions of Stevenson, Potter, Willcox, and Ferrero, the latter division being composed wholly of colored troops. The corps numbered 19,331, present for duty, with 42 pieces of field artillery; but this number was soon increased, the return of May 10th showing a strength of 22,708. In addition to the four divisions, with their two batteries each, there was a brigade of reserve artillery of 6 batteries, and, also, a provisional brigade of heavy artillerymen and dismounted cavalry. In all, there were 42 regiments of foot, and 14 batteries of light artillery. Ferrero's Colored Division had never been under fire, while many of the white regiments in the corps were newly organized, or had served previously on garrison duty only. In the ranks of the old regiments were many recruits and conscripts. In the battle of the Wilderness the corps lost 240 killed, 1,232 wounded, 168 missing; total, 1,640; and, at Spotsylvania, 486 killed, 2,119 wounded, 469 missing; total, 3,146; the heaviest loss at Spotsylvania occurring in the action of May 12th. General Stevenson was killed at Spotsylvania, May 10th, and Major-General Thomas L. Crittenden, formerly commander of the Twenty-first Corps, was assigned to the command of Stevenson's (1st) Division. During the Wilderness campaign, prior to the battle of the North Anna, the Ninth Corps was not included in the Army of the Potomac, but was a separate, independent command, reporting directly to General Grant. This proved to be a faulty arrangement, and, so, General Burnside, with General Parke, his chief-of-staff, waived the question of their superiority of rank over General Meade, in order that the corps might serve under that officer in the Army of the Potomac. At Burnside's suggestion, an order was issued by General Grant, on May 25th, incorporating the Ninth Corps with the main Army. On the 9th of June, while at Cold Harbor, General Crittenden was relieved at his own request, and General Ledlie was placed in command of the First Division. In the first assault on Petersburg, June 17th, the corps made a brilliant attack, Potter's Division gaining possession of the works; unfortunately, the division was obliged to relinquish its foothold for want of proper support. The corps was engaged in a similar attempt on the following day, the losses in Potter's and Willcox's Divisions being unusually severe in proportion to the number engaged. Loss, 497 killed, 2,232 wounded, and 262 missing; total, 2,991. The enemy's works proving too strong for assault, the army intrenched itself preparatory to the ten months siege which followed. On June 19th, Ferrero's (4th) Division of colored troops rejoined the corps, having been absent during the whole of the previous campaign, engaged on duty at the rear. Ferrero's men were now placed in the trenches with the other three divisions. The part of the line occupied by the Ninth Corps was very near the enemy's works, and an incessant firing was kept up during the siege, resulting in a daily loss of men, killed or wounded. While there was a comparative quiet in front of the other corps positions, the men of the Ninth were subjected to the terrible strain of a constant watchfulness and deadly exposure. The enemy seemed to be excited to an undue activity by the presence of Ferrero's Colored Division.
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