Today in History:

14 Series I Volume XXIX-I Serial 48 - Bristoe, Mine Run Part I

Page 14 OPERATIONS IN N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLI.

I ordered the Sixth Corps, Major-General Sedgwick, to follow the Third Corps, thus placing considerably more than half my infantry on the right flank, and directed Major-General Newton, commanding two divisions of the First Corps (the Third Division being left on the railroad), to follow the Fifth Corps, thus re-enforcing the left flank, and leaving the center to be supported from either of the other two columns, as circumstances might render the most convenient.

In accordance with the above order, the troops were put in motion at 6 a. m. of the 26th, the heads of columns of the Fifth and Second Corps reaching the river between 9 and 10 a. m., but the Third Corps, from causes not yet explained, not getting to Jacob's Mill till after 12 m., and thus delaying the other two corps, the advance being directed to be simultaneous.

This delay of the Third Corps, together with physical obstacles arising from the steep banks of the Rapidan at all the crossings, proved fatal to the design of having the heads of columns reach proceeding a mile or two before bivouacking. Orders were issued for the columns to move at early daylight on the 27th, and renew the march as previously indicated.

The Second Corps arrived at Robertson's Tavern about 10 a. m., driving the enemy skirmishers for some distance before reaching it, and at the tavern coming into the presence of a considerable force of the enemy, said by prisoners to be parts of two divisions of Ewell's corps. At this point I directed General Warren to halt and maintain his ground until connection was made with the Third Corps, momentarily expected.

About 11 a. m. a communication was received from General French to the effect that the head of his column was near the plan road, and that he was waiting for General Warren. A reply was immediately sent to him to push on promptly, and he would find General Warren at Robertson's tavern, then engaged with the enemy and requiring his support. Several officers were sent to communicate with General French and to urge him forward.

About 1 p. m. a dispatch was received from General French saying the enemy were throwing a force to his right flank on the Raccoon Ford road. On the receipt of this a peremptory order was sent to General French to move forward at once, and, if the enemy interposed, to attack with his whole force at all hazards, throwing forward his left toward General Warren. This order, as I am informed by Captain Cadwalader, aide-de-camp-who accompanied the officer carrying it-was received at 2.30 p. m. by General French, who protested against it as hazardous to his command, and desired Captain Cadwalader to assume the responsibility of suspending it.

General French, in his report herewith submitted, states that after sending, at 9.20 a. m., to General Prince (commanding his leading division), to ascertain his position, he (General French) became satisfied that the head of his column had struck the Raccoon Ford road near the enemy's intrenched position on Mine Run, and that he then determined to thrown his line forward, deploying to his left to connect with Warren; and that he communicated this fact to the commanding general. No such information was received by me, and it would appear, by the reports of the division commanders of the Third Corps, that no such movement was made by the corps till about 2.30 p. m., or the time my order was delivered, as stated, by Captain Cadwalader, aide-de-camp.

Page 14 OPERATIONS IN N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLI.