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

the cloud of skirmishers and sharpshooters that hung all day upon that part of the line, that brigade received much of the fire that was directed at these guns, and suffered severely. General Pender was himself wounded. The Sixteenth North Carolina, Colonel [John S.] McElroy, which had been thrown out as a support to Latimer's battery, became warmly engaged with a brigade of the enemy, which had advanced up Deep Run under cover, and, acting with two other North Carolina regiments [the Fifty-fourth and Fifty-seventh] of Law's brigade, Hood's division, drove them back.

Repulsed on the right, left, and center, the enemy soon after reformed his lines, and gave some indications of a purpose to renew the attack. I waited some time to receive it; but he making no forward movement, I determined, if prudent, to do so myself. The artillery of the enemy was so judiciously posted as to make an advance of our troops across the plain very hazardous; yet it was so promising of good results, if successfully executed, as to induce me to make preparations for the attempt. In order to guard against disaster, the infantry was to be preceded by artillery, and the movement postponed until late in the evening, so that, if compelled to retire, it would be under the cover of night. Owing to unexpected delays, the movement could not be gotten ready until late in the evening. The first gun had hardly moved forward from the wood 100 yards when the enemy's artillery reopened, and so completely swept our front as to satisfy me that the proposed movement should be abandoned.

The next day [14th], the divisions under the command of Brigadier-Generals Early and Taliaferro formed the first line; that of Major General D. H. Hill the second, and the division of Major General A. P. Hill the reserve. The enemy continued in our front all day, apparently awaiting an attack from us. During the night our lines were again changed, so as to place the division of Major General D. H. Hill in the front line, Major General A. P. Hill in the second, and the divisions commanded by Brigadier-Generals Early and Taliaferro the reserve.

On the 15th, the enemy still remained in our front, and in the evening of that day sent in a flag of truce requesting a cessation of hostilities between his left and our right wings, for the purpose of removing his wounded from the field, which, under previous instructions from the commanding general, was granted.

Our troops patiently remained in position on that, as they had done the previous day, eagerly awaiting another attack from the enemy, and such was the desire to occupy the front line, when such an attack should be made, that the division of Major General D. H. Hill sent in a written request to be permitted to remain in the front line until next day. But our brave troops were disappointed in the expectation of another attack, for while they patiently waited during the night of the 15th in the hope of another encounter on the following day, and of visiting upon the invaders of their sacred homes and firesides a just retribution for the outrages of this most unprovoked and unchristian war, the enemy hurriedly and silently during that night made good his retreat by recrossing the river.

For further details of the operations of my corps in the battle, I respectfully refer you to the reports of the division, brigade, and regimental commanders who participated in the engagement; also to the reports of Colonel [S.] Crutchfield, my chief of artillery; Lieutenant-Colonel Walker, Colonel [J. T.] Brown, of the reserve artillery, and Captain Latimer, detailing the operations of the artillery. I refer you also


Page 634 OPERATIONS IN N.VA.,W.VA.,MD.,AND PA. Chapter XXXIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 21, Part 1 (Fredericksburg)
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