War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0546 OPERATIONS IN N. VA.,W. VA.,MD.,AND PA. Chapter XXXIII.

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FREDERICKSBURG, VA., December 13, [1862]-9 p. m.

About 9 a. m. the enemy attacked our right, and as the for lifted the battle ran from right to left; raged until 6 p. m.; but, thanks to Almighty God, the day closed [with attacks] repulsed along our whole front. Our troops behaved admirably, but, as usual, we have to mourn the loss of many brave men. I expect the battle to be renewed at daylight. Please send this to the President.

R. E. LEE.

JAMES A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY, December 14, 1862.

I think it best to draw all re-enforcements you propose and all available forces from North and South Carolina. Keep guards to batteries on James River.

R. E. LEE,

Commanding Army.

Honorable SECRETARY OF WAR.

FREDERICKSBURG, VA., December 14, 1862.

I am informed by chief of ordnance of this army that the train now on the road contains all the ammunition prepared in Richmond. I beg that every exertion be made to provide additional supplies, as there is every indication that it will be needed.

R. E. LEE,

General, Commanding.

Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, December 14, 1862.

SIR: On the night of the 10th instant, the enemy commenced to throw three bridges over the Rappahannock, two at Fredericksburg and the third about 1 1/2 miles below, near the mouth of Deep Run. The plain on which Fredericksburg stands is so completely commanded by the hills of Stafford (in possession of the enemy) that no effectual opposition could be offered to the construction of the bridges or the passage of the river without exposing our troops to the destructive fire of his numerous batteries. Positions were, therefore, selected to oppose his advance after crossing. The narrowness of the Rappahannock, its winding course, and deep bed afforded opportunity for the construction of bridges at points beyond the reach of our artillery, and the banks had to be watched by skirmishers. The latter, sheltering themselves behind the houses, drove back the working parties of the enemy at the bridges opposite the city, but at the lowest point of crossing, where no shelter could be had, our sharpshooters were themselves driven off, and the completion of that bridge was effected about noon on the 11th.

In the afternoon of that day, the enemy's batteries opened upon the