War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0204 OPERATIONS IN N.VA.,W.VA.,MD.,AND PA. Chapter XXXIII.

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No. 37. Report of Lieutenant Colonel William Hays, U. S. Army, additional aide-de-camp, commanding Artillery on the Right.


Falmouth, Va., December 22, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the batteries under my command in the battle of Fredericksburg:

Between 8 and 11 o'clock on the night of the 10th instant, the batteries were all placed in their positions on the bank of the river, in the following order, from right to left: Battery E, Second U. S. Artillery, Lieutenant Benjamin; Battery A, Fourth U. S. Artillery, Lieutenant King; Battery G, Rhode Island Artillery, Captain Owen; Battery L, Second New York Artillery, Captain Roemer; Battery B, First New York Artillery, Captain Pettit; Second Independent Pennsylvania Battery, Captain Durell; Battery D, Fifth U. S. Artillery, Lieutenant Hazlett, and Fourth New York Independent Battery, Captain Smith.

On the morning of the 11th, after our troops had crossed, the enemy opened on the city. Our batteries immediately opened on theirs, causing them in a few minutes to cease firing.

On the 12th, our batteries fired more or less at the enemy's batteries whenever they opened on the city or our troops, and in every case the enemy would cease firing in a few minutes after our batteries commenced firing.

On the 13th, fired pretty much in the same way, and with the same effect as on the 12th. Not knowing the exact position of our troops or the enemy's, and fearing we might injure our troops, the batteries did not fire during the attack on the 12th, except at the enemy's batteries.

On the 14th and 15th, fired more or less at the enemy's batteries whenever they opened on our troops or the city, with a view to induce them to cease firing, which was always the result of our firing at their batteries.

The batteries belonging to the Artillery Reserve, being under the orders of other commanders during the operations, I do not deem it proper to make any report of them, only to state that they were all engaged during the entire operations.

For a more detailed account of the services of the batteries under my command, I refer you to the report of the commanders of batteries, herewith transmitted, and fully indorse what they say with regard to the conduct of their officers and men.

All my own staff, consisting of Lieutenant H. F. Brownson, Third Artillery, acting assistant adjutant-general, acting during the engagement as aide to Colonel Tyler; Lieutenant F. S. French, First Artillery, acting aide-de-camp; Captain N. J. Sappington, commissary of subsistence, who during the operations performed the duties of aide-de-camp; Capts. S. P. Suydam and S. B. Bean, assistant quartermasters, and Dr. C. B. White, medical director, performed their respective duties with energy and ability.

Lieutenant W. D. Fuller, Third Artillery, in charge of the ammunition train, volunteered for and had the command of a section of Lieutenant Hazlett's battery until ordered to relieve Lieutenant Elbert, Third Cavalry, on account of illness, who had been left in charge of the train.