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

position on a hill opposite to the ford between Falmouth and Fredericksburg. The brigade remained in this position all day, quiet spectators of the enemy's fiendish and furious bombardment of Fredericksburg. Many shot and shell were thrown into the woods occupied by men, inflicting but a trifling loss, killing 1 and wounding 2 men of the Eleventh Alabama Regiment.

In the afternoon it was known that the enemy had succeeded in his efforts to throw pontoon bridges over the river, and that both in the town and below several bridges were being used by them for crossing over the troops. Late in the evening, Captain Lewis, seeing a column of the enemy's infantry advancing to cross the upper pontoon bridge, gave the order to his battery to fire upon them. This was instantly done, and with such effect as to drive over half of it back under cover of some houses. Later in the evening the battery again fired upon artillery and cavalry that were in sight, and soon drove them off and out of view. This battery had orders to waste no ammunition and to fire only when damage could be inflicted upon the enemy. The brigade slept under arms in line of battle, strong pickets being thrown to the front. The artillerymen remained with their guns.

During Friday, the 12th, the brigade remained under arms and in position. Shot and shell from the enemy's batteries fell at times near them, but without inflicting any loss. Lewis' battery at various times during the day fired at the enemy's batteries while crossing the river. About 3 p.m., a column of infantry [one brigade] came in sight. Shot and shell were thrown upon the head of this column, causing much confusion in their ranks and forcing them to change their course and take shelter beyond houses. Later in the day the battery fired upon cavalry crossing the ford. In each case damage was done the enemy, as his ambulances were seen to leave the field with wounded. Again all slept under arms [the night of the 12th], with strong pickets in our front.

The early morn of the 13th was dark and much obscured by a dense fog. At length, the rising sun dissipating the mist, ;about 8 a.m. musketry was heard on our right. This fire quickened and artillery was also heard in the same direction. The rapidity and quantity of the musketry fire indicated that a general action had begun. The firing at length began to approach nearer us. The right of our left wing had become engaged, and the firing still continued, extending toward our left, reaching as far as its center, and here it remained for a long time, approaching no nearer our position. The firing had now become general. Musketry, artillery, and the bursting of shell are heard, varying at times in quantity and rapidity, but without any entire cessation, till dark. At times it would appear to be more intense far to our right, and then again the center and the left of center would seem to be the point where the enemy were concentrating their heaviest forces and making the most vigorous efforts to force our line. More artillery appeared to be used on this day than I had ever known before. Frequently during the continuance of the battle I counted as many as fifty shots per minute. During this long and intensely exciting day my brigade remained in line of battle, ready to meet any advance of the enemy or to hasten to any point of the line that might need support. The battery of Captain Lewis lost no opportunity of firing upon the enemy's infantry and cavalry when in easy range. In all, it fired 400 rounds.

The brigade lost to-day 1 killed and 8 wounded; Lewis' battery 1 killed and 2 wounded. Although the brigade lost but few men by the


Page 612 OPERATIONS IN N.VA.,W.VA.,MD.,AND PA., Chapter XXXIII.
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