remainder of the day and the succeeding night passed without any change in position.
About midday of December 13, orders were received from Major-General Hill to render assistance and support to any part of the front line requiring it; soon after which an officer of General Lane's staff brought information that his brigade was hard pressed by overwhelming numbers. I immediately advanced my brigade down the road, being unable, on account of the density of the undergrowth, to advance in line. The brigade moved by the flank until near the science of action, when the regiments were thrown into line of battle and advanced toward the enemy, who at this time had advanced into the woods. Their advance was checked there, and, after stubborn resistance, this brigade charged them, driving them through the field and completely routing them. We pursued for some distance across the railroad, when, seeing no support-either on the right or left, and my ammunition being reported to be well nigh exhausted, I concluded to fall back to the railroad. Forming at this place the front line, I determined to hold the position, at the same time sending word to Colonel [Edmund] Pendleton, commanding brigade, that I was deficient in ammunition, and requesting him to be in supporting distance.
The brigade bivouacked that night in the edge of the woods, throwing out pickets on the railroad, and were relieved early the next morning by Colonel [E. T. H.] Warren's brigade, and was placed in reserve.
The officers and men of my command behaved with a gallantry highly commendable.*
I have the honor to be, major, your obedient servant,
EDWARD L. THOMAS,
Major R. C. MORGAN,
No. 313. Report of Brigadier General James H. Lane, C. S. Army, commanding Fourth [Lane'] Brigade.
HEADQUARTERS LANE'S BRIGADE, December 23, 1862.
I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my brigade in the late engagement before Fredericksburg:
At 6.30 o'clock on the morning of the 12th, we left our bivouac and took the position assigned us on the railroad, my right being about 250 yards to the left of the small piece of woods beyond the track, and my left resting on a dirt road which crosses the railroad near the point where it makes a bend. Several batteries were to my left and rear, and General Pender some distance farther back, my left nearly covering his right. When I had made this disposition of my command, I rode to the right of General Archer's brigade, which was posted in the woods some 400 yards from the railroad, and informed Colonel [Peter] Turney, who was at that time commanding, that there was an open between
*For list of casualties, see Report No. 265, p.560. Lieuts. W. H. Putnam, Fourteenth Georgia, and C. Johnson, Forty-ninth Georgia, reported as killed, and Lieutenant W. J. Solomon, Fourteenth Georgia, as having died of wounds received.