War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0199 Chapter XXXIII. BATTLE OF FREDERICKSBURG, VA.

Search Civil War Official Records

Second New York Artillery, in placing the guns in position on the night of the 11th, and of Lieutenant Brownson, Battery C, Third Artillery, who was on duty with the German batteries.

I am, general, very respectfully, &c., your obedient servant,


Colonel First Connecticut Arty., Commanding Left Center Div. Artillery.

Brigadier General HENRY J. HUNT,

Chief of Artillery, Army of the Potomac.

Numbers 31. Report of Major Thomas S. Trumbull, First Connecticut Heavy Artillery.


December 19, 1862.

COLONEL: I have the honor to report that, in accordance with orders received, I moved at dusk on the evening of the 10th, with the batteries under my charge, consisting of Companies B and M, of the First Connecticut Artillery, the former of four and the latter of three 4 1/2-inch rifled guns. By 10 o'clock I had succeeded in bringing up my ammunition and in planting my guns in the position assigned, being a high bluff opposite the left of the town, and could at that time have opened fire had it been necessary.

On Thursday morning at daybreak, in accordance with orders received, I directed my batteries to open on the town, which, from my position, was not visible until nearly 12 o'clock. I am satisfied that our shells, thrown into the town, burst with considerable effect, although that great desideratum which should accompany every artillery engagement, viz, the ability to see the object fired at, as well as the effect of the fire, was in this case wanting. I therefore ordered that in no case should the fire be more rapid than one round in from ten to fifteen minutes, until about noon, when the rising of the fog and smoke gave a better target and more satisfactory results.

On Friday morning I received, through you, a request from General Franklin to silence if possible, a battery which his picket informed him had been thrown forward during the night in front of his position. I was unable, owing to the dense fog and mist, to make out the precise point indicated, but paid my attention to the batteries skirting the woods and crowning the hills in front of his position.

Although the firing was exceedingly accurate, I directed but few shots to be fired, since I was satisfied that firing at long ranges, and more especially at batteries of position, was productive of little effect.

Early Saturday morning I directed the batteries under my command to fire with great fire with great caution, which I found to be necessary from the fact that some of our projectiles failed to take the grooves, thereby endangering the safety of the troops composing our advanced line. In firing at the six-gun battery directly in our front, and at the troops in the sunken road defending it, I found the precaution somewhat unnecessary. At this point, therefore, of the enemy's line, as well as at the batteries in front of Franklin's right, I directed my fire with considerable efficiency, many of my shells bursting both in their batteries and among