War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0160 OPERATIONS IN N. VA. W. VA., MD., AND PA.

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CHAP. XXXIII.

Saturday, December 13, at 10.30 a.m., I was ordered by you to the station in the top of the court-house steeple, in Fredericksburg, communicating with the one at General Sumner's headquarters, to relieve Lieutenants Brooks and Stone, who were to go forward with General Couch in case he advanced, and keep up communication with them. Lieutenant Yates at the same time was ordered to go forward with General Couch and return to the charge of the station in the court-house steeple. When I arrived I found that General Couch's headquarters were still at the court-house. I immediately relieved Lieutenants Brooks and Stone, so they could be in readiness to go forward when needed. I at once proceeded to top of steeple, and opened communication. General Couch being present, I reported the fact to him. At this time the fighting had become general and desperate, and, under a terrific fire of shot and shell, I sent the following messages:

12 M.

General SUMNER:

The advance has started.

D. N. COUCH.

12.45 P. M.

General BURNSIDE:

Our infantry have advanced and are hotly engaged. The enemy hold their own; they have about two batteries in action on a hill, and are playing into our infantry.

B. F.

1 P. M.

General BURNSIDE:

Our troops are under a severe cross-fire, but stand firm.

B. F.

1.15 P. M.

Lieutenant YATES:

General Burnside directs that you keep that station at all hazards.

TAYLOR.

1.20 P. M.

General BURNSIDE:

We are advancing; the enemy are still in their rifle-pits.

FULLER.

1.30 P. M.

General BURNSIDE:

Two of our divisions are now engaging the enemy.

1.35 P. M.

General BURNSIDE:

Send the ammunition to the Lacy house. Hancock and French are so hotly engaged, I need re-enforcements.

D. N. COUCH.

General BURNSIDE:

General Couch desires you to clear the stragglers out of town with cavalry.

General PATRICK:

Every cellar in the town must be cleared at once.

D. N. COUCH.

General BURNSIDE:

If you can send a good division, I think the left flank of the enemy can be turned; it will only be necessary now. I have not a division for the purpose.

D. N. COUCH.

General BURNSIDE:

Send two rifled batteries.

D. N. COUCH.