Numbers 266. Report of Brigadier General William N. Pendleton, C. S. Army, Chief of Artillery, Army of Northern Virginia.
HDQRS. ARTILLERY CORPS, ARMY OF NORTHERN VA., Near Chesterfield Depot, Va., March 12, 1863.
GENERAL: Constant pressure of duty since the battle of Fredericksburg has prevented an earlier report of the part which then devolved upon the reserve artillery, and upon the undersigned as its commander and as supervisor of the artillery service in this army. Such report the undersigned has now the honor to submit, as proper in itself and as part of the history of important transactions.
While the army remained in the Valley of the Shenandoah, after returning from Maryland, the undersigned was diligently engaged in reorganizing the artillery and in directing adequate forage arrangements. On November 1, with the reserve artillery and ordnance train, he took up the line of march for Culpeper Court-House, and on the evening of the 4th encamped near that place.
On the 14th, at the request of the commanding general, he sent Lane's battery to co-operate with General Stuart in an attack upon a body of the enemy near Warrenton Springs; and on the 17th the same battery of superior guns was dispatched, as requested, toward Fredericksburg, to operate under direction of General McLaws.
On the 19th, orders to that effect having been received, the under-signed marched with the reserve artillery and ordnance train toward Fredericksburg, taking a circuitous route southeastwardly, for the sake of forage.
On Sunday, the 23d, he had arrived with the trains, reported at general headquarters, and located camps, as directed.
The next morning, as requested by the commanding general, he proceeded to the front, for the purpose of observing the dispositions of the enemy and examining the ground, with a view to the best positions for works and batteries. The enemy was conspicuously in force, and often within easy range from above Falmouth to a point a mile or more below Fredericksburg. They had batteries in position, and were in a few places beginning earthworks. On our own line a few hurried works were in progress. Lane's battery was already well posted on the heights overhanging the river bend above Falmouth and forming our extreme left. Epaulements had been thrown up, but they needed much additional work. Lewis' and Grandy's batteries, recently called from Richmond to aid in repelling the enemy, were also in position on the lower plateau, about half a mile to the right of Lane and nearer the town. These needed for their protection much additional labor. These observations and a cursory survey of the general line between the river above Falmouth and the Telegraph road-in company with Lieutenant-Colonel [J. Thompson] Brown, then on duty with the undersigned; with Lieutenant-Colonel [E. P.] Alexander, whose encampment was visited, and with Captain [S. R.] Johnston, engineer, met with on the field-occupied the entire day, the distance being considerable and the points of importance numerous.
The next day, November 25, after detailing Captain [H. M.] Ross to proceed with his battery to a point on the river 3 or 4 miles below, to be indicated by a member of the commanding general's staff, where gunboats might be effectually repelled, the undersigned again visited the front to study the ground with reference alike to its own features