eHistory logo Primary Sources Section
Primary Sources Home | Search eHistory

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

You are currently in Volume XXI | Pages range from 1 to 1152

Go to Page (current volume):  
Index | Previous | Next
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 21, Part 1 (Fredericksburg)
Page 581 Chapter XXXIII. BATTLE OF FREDERICKSBURG, VA.

munition, and they were being relieved by others from Colonel Alexander's battalion. Taking advantage of the lull, the Fifteenth South Carolina Regiment, Colonel De Saussure, was brought forward from the cemetery and posted behind the stone behind the stone wall, supporting the Second South Carolina Regiment. The enemy in the mean while formed a strong column of attack, and, advancing under cover of their own artillery fire and no longer impeded by ours, came forward along our whole front in the most determined manner, but they were repulsed at all points. The firing ceased as night came on, and about 7 o'clock our pickets and those of the enemy were posted within a short distance of each other. About 6 p. m. the Third South Carolina Regiment was brought from the hill and posted on the left of Phillips' Georgia Legion, when it was relieved by General Kemper with a portion of his brigade, about 7 p. m., and was then ordered in reserve by General Kershaw, because of its previous heavy loss.

The body of one man, believed to be an officer, was found within about 30 yards of the stone wall, and other single bodies were scattered at increased distances until the main mass of the dead lay thickly strewn over the ground at something over 100 yards off, and extending to the ravine, commencing at the point where our men would allow the enemy's column to approach before opening fire, and beyond which no organized body of men was able to pass.

On the 14th, the enemy were in position behind the declivities in front, but the operations on both sides were confined to skirmishing of sharpshooters.

On the 15th, it was discovered that the enemy had constructed rifle-pits on the edge of the ravine, but nothing of interest occurred during the day. Cobb's brigade was relieved by that of General Semmes on the night of that day, against the wishes, however, of Colonel McMillan, commanding Cobb's brigade, who objected to relinquish such an honorable position.

On the 16th (Tuesday morning), as the fog lifted, it was discovered that the enemy's pickets were withdrawn, and scouts being sent out reported that the enemy had retired across the river, removing their bridges. The town was reoccupied by two regiments from Kershaw's brigade, and a number of prisoners, arms, &c., were taken.

Captain [G. B.] Cuthbert, of the Second South Carolina Regiment, with his company of sharpshooters, was thrown out on the edge of Hazel Run, and did good service in annoying the flank of the enemy as their columns advanced to the attack. His loss was considerable. When General Kershaw's brigade was sent to the front its place along the main line of defense was occupied by the brigade of Brigadier-General Jenkins, a regiment from which occupied the right flank of the troops at the foot of Marye's Hill along Hazel Run, and was of essential service. The lieutenant-general was, however, overlooking the movements of all, and every was issued under his supervision. The presence of himself and the general-in-chief inspired the troops and rendered them invincible. The very great enthusiasm and ardent desire for the enemy to advance, which existed and was evident among all officers and men, could not be surpassed, and when it was discovered on the 16th that the enemy had retired, there was a universal expression of disappointment.

The artillery along the heights, under the supervision of Colonel H. C. Cabell, chief of artillery, and his subordinate, Major [S. P.] Hamilton, opened fire on the enemy's left flank, whenever their columns advanced, with such effect as to always force them to retire in disorder, or to incline of their right under shelter of ravines and rising ground; forced


Page 581 Chapter XXXIII. BATTLE OF FREDERICKSBURG, VA.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 21, Part 1 (Fredericksburg)
Index | Previous | Next
This symbol external link icon indicates an external link
All images and content are the property of eHistory at The Ohio State University unless otherwise stated.
Copyright © 2014 OSU Department of History. All rights reserved. [citation and copyright information]
eHistory icon