were just in front of us. The next morning, after a short march, we came close up to them at Mile Run
and drove in their pickets.
(The whole Army of the Potomac, spread out as they were, must have extended over many miles.) Companies E and C were deployed to skirmish and cover the front of our brigade.
The First Corps (ours) was in the centre; the Second and Sixth were on our right, the Third and Fifth to our left.
Our regiment formed part of the front line, second division, of the corps.
Our division lay in position all day; cannonading lasted till dark, but there was no infantry engagement.
In the morning we marched a mile to the right, and lay in line of battle all day.
We returned to our position of the twentyninth (centre), and remained until 4 p. m., when our army began to retreat to the Rapidan
The enemy had the better position.
While here we were only a few miles from the battlefields of Chancelloirsville and of the Wilderness
which was yet to be. General Warren
, the saviour of Gettysburg
and chief engineer of the Army of the Potomac at that time, but now in command of the Second Army Corps, had explained to General Meade
the true state of affairs, and this caused the withdrawal of our troops.
On our retreat we reached Germania Ford on the south bank, and bivouacked at 10 p. m. The First Corps covered the crossing of the Fifth and Sixth Corps the next morning (December 2), and our regiment was the last to cross.
That night we bivouacked at Stevensburg
We went into camp at Kelley's Ford, on the south side of the Rapidan
, where we occupied log houses which General Lee
's army had built for winter quarters.
They had been driven from these November 7 by our Third Corps.
Here we remained till December 24.
The huts were far from being clean and wholesome.
We marched to a point on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, about four miles above Culpeper
, where we bivouacked two days, and then marched at night still farther on to a point beyond the cavalry reserves, and formed the extreme outpost of the army, near Mitchell's Station
Here we suffered much from severe storms—snow and rain—until quarters