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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 21, Part 1 (Fredericksburg)
Page 576 OPERATIONS IN N. VA.,W. VA.,MD.,AND PA. Chapter XXXIII.

severely had he attempted any advance north of the town. This disposition of my batteries remained unchanged during the 11th and 12th.

On the 12th, our infantry having evacuated the town, Captain Rhett's and Captain Parker's batteries opened their rifles occasionally at the position of the principal pontoon bridges of the enemy, Captain Rhett also enfilading two of the principal streets. These fires invariably elicited prompt and heavy responses from the enemy, from which, however, our pits saved us nearly all damage.

On the morning of the 13th, this firing was continued, aided by three 12-pounder guns of Captain Moody's battery, in a new position north of the Plank road, opposite Captain Rhett, whence the street leading to the pontoon bridge could be enfiladed. This latter fire at once attracted a reply from every battery of the enemy in reach, and caused us slight loss. Captain Moody, however, still held the position, sheltering his men when not firing. The enemy shelled this position not only all day, but every day of their occupation of the city afterward, whence I infer that our fire must have cause them much annoyance. I afterward made pits in this position for guns with Captains Moody's and Rhett's cannoneers, but they were only completed on the morning of the enemy's evacuation.

At 3.40 p. m. the 13th, I received an order to relieve the Washington Artillery on Marye's Hill, their ammunition being nearly exhausted. I at once hastened there with Captain Woolfolk's battery, Captain Moody's 12-pounder guns, and two guns of Captain Jordan's battery, and occupied the pits under a heavy fire, which caused three-fourths of my entire loss while galloping up. The enemy were already within 300 yards, and seeing the Washington Artillery leave after so protracted and gallant a defense, cheered and pressed on heavily, aided by three batteries which opened from the edge of the town and their line of heavy guns on the opposite bank. Disregarding the latter, we poured a rapid and murderous fire on the former and their advancing infantry, under which and the accurate aim of our veteran infantry beneath us, they were soon driven to shelter behind the houses of the town. About dark the remaining section of Captain Jordan's battery was brought up, one gun replacing a damaged gun of Captain Maurin's in a pit left of the Plank road, and the other remaining near, under the control of General Ransom, for any emergency. About 7 p. m. the enemy, said to have been Sykes' division of regulars, again advanced under cover of darkness until opened on by our infantry below. My guns opened with canister and case shot at the flashes of their muskets, and this their last repulse was said to have been the bloodiest.

At dawn on the 14th, my only remaining guns in reserve-Moody's two 24-pounder howitzers and one rifle of Captain Jordan's-relieved the remainder of Captain Maurin's battery in the pits left of the Plank road, and two 12-pounder guns of Captain Moody's, and two 6-pounder guns of Captain Woolfolk's were relieved by brigade batteries, being out of ammunition. On the 14th, we fired but few shots, and only at bodies of the enemy's infantry, being compelled to economize ammunition.

On the night of the 14th, Captain Parker discovered a position enfilading the canal valley in front of the town, and two pits were constructed at it, which I occupied before day with Moody's 12-pounder guns. When the fog lifted, the reserves of the enemy's pickets could be seen lying flat on their faces in the valley-in the language of General Burnside, "holding the first ridge." A few well-directed shots by Captain Moody soon, however, broke this hold, and all who could not find fresh shelter fled in confusion to the city, under the fire of our sharpshooters and several guns immediately in their rear. This, with a single


Page 576 OPERATIONS IN N. VA.,W. VA.,MD.,AND PA. Chapter XXXIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 21, Part 1 (Fredericksburg)
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