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[180] in constructing a slight field work to protect the troops. We remained in this position until about 3 o'clock P. M., when I left the regiment, being detailed for a special purpose.

Major Hardeman then assumed command. I returned about 3 o'clock P. M. May 5th, and found that the regiment had been moved off by the left flank and now occupied a partially entrenched position, at about 90° with its former position, though contiguous to it.

We remained here until about 3 o'clock P. M. May 6th, when we were ordered to move back towards our original encampment, near the Dickinson House, which was reached upon the 6th and 7th of May.

I deem it proper to state that great disadvantages were labored under in these battles, as I carried my men into action inverted and faced by the rear rank. A manoeuvre, I believe, almost unprecedented.

The night march back to camp on the 6th was calculated, in my opinion, to subvert discipline and utterly demoralize troops. Not one-half of the men could keep up, and complete disorganization, disregard for authority, and perfect exhaustion were the inevitable results.

I think it right to mention for good conduct Lieutenants T. W. Harris and W. F. Lowe, Sergeant N. M. Howard, company ‘F,’ and Privates Clark, company ‘F’; Bullard, company ‘G.’ Also Corporal George W. Oliver, company ‘D,’ who lost his leg in the last charge.

I enclose Major Hardeman's report, marked ‘Exhibit A,’ until 3 o'clock P. M. May 5th, 1863.

I append, marked ‘Exhibit B,’ a list of the casualties.

I am, captain, respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

Edward Willis, Colonel Twelfth Georgia Regiment. Capt. F. T. Snead, A. A. General.
Endorsed: ‘Edward Willis, Colonel Twelfth Georgia regiment, Second army corps, near Fredericksburg, May 8, 1863. Report and list of casualties in the Twelfth Georgia regiment in the battles of Spotsylvania county, Va.

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