feet of the bridge a heavy fire from artillery and musketry in front and musketry from each side and in the wood was opened upon us, while the shells from our own guns fell and burst between us and the bridge. Not being willing to lose the men by the fire from our own side I again ordered them to the banks of the road and sent a messenger to the artillery to change the direction of their fire; but as the shells continued to fall in the same place I was compelled to go myself and represent to the officer in command of the guns that his fire was endangering our own men. As I returned, Morrison's battery came up and took position near the bridge, and I directed the captain's attention to the depot beyond, where a train of cars had just arrived with re-enforcements for the enemy. Directing his guns with much judgment he sent a shell directly into them and continued to keep up a vigorous and effective fire until the bridge was destroyed. He then retired and I drew off my men to support a battery which continued to play farther to the right. After the firing ceased and the battery retired I rejoined the Ninth New Jersey and marched with them from the field.
I cannot close this report without adding my testimony to the admirable conduct of the men of my command. While under fire no sign of faltering was observed among any of them. They behaved like veterans accustomed to such scenes, and deserve all praise for their steadiness and prompt obedience to orders.
Lieutenant B. N. Mann, our former adjutant, deserves especial mention for his efforts to destroy the bridge, receiving in the attempt a severe wound.
Adjutant Cheever also behaved with coolness and bravery, being always at hand to attend to the execution of orders, and the officers and men generally performed their duty to my entire satisfaction.
Captain Fuller, with the companies left to watch the enemy, did great service in preventing a flank movement, and captured two of their cavalry who had ventured inside of the line of skirmishers.
Our loss upon the railroad was 18 wounded, and in view of our exposed position and the fire which was kept up upon us the smallness of the number seems marvelous. The wounded men are in good spirits, and one of them after his wound was dressed desired to go back to the scene of action.
Inclosed I send an official report of the killed and wounded; Killed, 1; wounded, 29. Aggregate, 30.*
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. F. FELLOWS,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Seventeenth Massachusetts Vols.
Lieutenant E. T. PARKINSON,
A. A. A. G., First Brigadier, First Div., Dept. of N. C.
No. 14. Report of Major John G. Chambers, Twenty-third Massachusetts Infantry, of operations December 11-16.
HDQRS. TWENTY-THIRD Regiment MASSACHUSETTS VOLS.,
Camp Pendleton, December 23, 1862.
SIR: In accordance with General Orders, Nos.29 and 31, I left camp with my command on the morning of December 11 and took my position
*But see revised statement, p.60.