No. 308. Report of Major General Ambrose P. Hill, C. S. Army, commanding A. P. Hill's division.
HEADQUARTERS LIGHT DIVISION, JACKSON'S CORPS, Camp near Fredericksburg, Va., January 1, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Light Division in the battle of Fredericksburg:
It having been definitely ascertained that the enemy had crossed the Rappahannock in large force, on the evening of December 11, I was directed by General R. E. Lee [subsequently by the lieutenant-general also] to move my division at down on the 12th, and relieve Major-General Hood. In obedience to this order, I put my troops in position, my front line consisting of two regiments of Brockenbrough's brigade, the brigades of Generals Archer, Lane, and Pender, my extreme right resting upon the road leading from Hamilton's Crossing to the Port Royal road, and my left to within a short distance of Deep Creek. Upon the hill crowning the right of my line, Lieutenant Colonel R. Lindsay Walker, my chief of artillery, had in position, under his own immediate direction, fourteen rifle and Napoleon guns, composed of the batteries of Pegram and McIntosh, with sections from the batteries of Crenshaw, Latham, and Johnson, commanded, respectively, by Lieutenants Ellett, Potts, and Clutter. The batteries of Captains Davidson and Braxton [the latter commanded by Lieutenant Marye] were placed to cover my left, about 200 yards in front of Pender's brigade. My line of battle as thus formed was fully 1 1/2 miles in extent, the division of Major-General Hood being on my left. Lane's brigade was some 150 yards in advance of my general line, the timber, in the skirt of which was posted his brigade, jutting out into the low grounds, some distance from the main body. Along the military road-a new road running in rear of my front line from right to left, cut by Major-General Hood-were posted my reserves, consisting of the remainder of Brockenbrough's brigade [Fortieth and Fifty-fifth Virginia], as a support to Walker's batteries, Gregg's brigade crossing the interval between Archer and Lane, and Thomas' brigade the interval between Lane and Pender. The division remained as thus posted during Friday and Friday night, undisturbed except by the shelling from the enemy's guns.
On Saturday morning, Lieutenant-General Jackson directed that Braxton's battery and two batteries from Brigadier-General Taliaferro's division be placed in advance of the railroad, and General Lane was directed to support them. Braxton's battery was relieved by Latimer, a young veteran.
About 10 o'clock Saturday morning, the lifting of the fog discovered to us the lines of the enemy drawn array on the low grounds between us and the river, covering the whole of my front and extending far to the left toward Fredericksburg. They were deployed in three lines, with heavy reserves, behind the Port Royal road. Soon their lines, accompanied by ten full batteries [six on their left and four on the right], moved forward to the attack. They had advanced but a short distance when, Stuart's Horse Artillery opening on them from the Port Royal road and enfilading their lines, the advance was halted, and four of the batteries gave their attention for an hour or more to Major Pelham. As soon as Pelham ceased his fire, all their batteries, right and left, opened a terrific fire upon the position occupied by my batteries and shelled the woods promiscuously. There being no reply from any of our batteries