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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 590 OPERATIONS IN N. VA.,W. VA.,MD.,AND PA. Chapter XXXIII.

and opened upon our position. At this time I brought up Colonel De Saussure's regiment. Our batteries on the hill were silent, having exhausted their ammunition, and the Washington Artillery were relieved by a part of Colonel Alexander's battalion. Under cover of this artillery fire, the most formidable column of attack was formed, which, about 5 o'clock, emerged from the ravine, and, no longer impeded by our artillery, impetuously assailed our whole front. From this time until after 6 o'clock the attack was continuous, and the fire on both sides terrific. Some few, chiefly officers, got within 30 yards of our lines, but, in every instance, their columns were shattered by the time they got within 100 paces. The firing gradually subsided, and by 7 o'clock our pickets were established within 30 yards of those of the enemy.

Our chief loss after getting into position in the road was from the fire of sharpshooters, who occupied some buildings on my left flank in the early part of the engagement, and were only silenced by Captain [W.] Wallace, of the Second Regiment, directing a continuous fire of one company upon the buildings.

General Cobb, I learn, was killed by a shot from that quarter. The regiments on the hill suffered most, as they were less perfectly covered. During the engagement Colonel McMillan was re-enforced by the arrival of the Sixteenth Georgia Regiment, and a brigade of General Ransom's command was also engaged, but as they did not report to me, I am unable to give any particulars in regard to them. That night we materially strengthened the position, and I more perfectly organized and arranged my command, fully expecting the attack to be renewed next day. I sent the Third Regiment in reserve, in consideration of their heavy loss.

At daylight in the morning the enemy was in position, lying behind the first declivity in front, but the operations on both sides were confined to skirmishing of sharpshooters. We lost but 1 man during the day, but it is reported that we inflicted a loss upon the enemy (Sykes' division) of 150.

Monday morning discovered the pickets of the enemy behind rifle-pits constructed during the night along the edge of the ravine. From this position they were nearly all driven by our batteries, and nothing of interest occurred during the day. General Semmes relieved Cobb's brigade Monday night.

Tuesday morning, as soon as the haze lifted, the enemy's pickets being no longer visible, I sent out scouts from my own brigade to the left and from General Semmes' to the right. The former soon returned, reporting the evacuation of the town, which the latter soon confirmed, with the additional information that the bridges had been removed. I sent forward two companies, one from each brigade, and afterward two regiments, in obedience to the order of the major-general commanding, to occupy the town. A number of prisoners, and a quantity of arms, ammunition, &c., were taken, the particulars of which have already been reported.

During these operations I was ably and gallantly aided by Captain [C. R.] Holmes, assistant adjutant-general, Lieutenant [A. E.] Doby, aide-de-camp, who were present on the field in the active discharge of their duties. Lieutenant J. A. Myers, ordnance officer, was at his post promptly replenishing our exhausted ammunition. Lieutenant W. M. Dwight, assistant inspector-general, was disabled from his injuries received at Maryland Heights, but was on the field and received a contusion on the head from a shell. Colonel McMillan, commanding Cobb's


Page 590 OPERATIONS IN N. VA.,W. VA.,MD.,AND PA. Chapter XXXIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 21, Part 1 (Fredericksburg)
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