On Sunday, the 14th instant, we fired several times on the works nearest to us, silencing them when they opened, and shelled some of their infantry out of a small breastwork.
December 15, we fired but little. Twice we fired for a few minutes on the enemy's batteries, to check them from firing on the town, ceasing to fire when they did.
On the 16th instant, about 11 a.m., we received your order to shell the stone wall and road on the battle-ground, which we did for some fifteen minutes, and then, receiving an ordered to continue the fire with a little lower elevation, we opened again. After many of the shots we could see small squads of men run out from the covers. When we could no longer see any of their men, we ceased firing.
During the action on Saturday, the 13th instant, we fired 452 rounds. During the six days we fired in all 817 rounds. We threw 53 rounds of shell and shrapnel into a brook, they being unfit for use, having large flaws in their butts.
I would respectfully call attention to the miserable quality of the ammunition I was supplied with. The time fuses (paper fuses) in the majority of cases did not ignite. Many of the Schenkl percussion shell upset, and some broke in the gun, while many of them failed to burst in striking. Many of the Parrott shells and shrapnel broke in the guns or exploded near the muzzles. The shortest range at which we fired was 1,200 yards; the longest was near 6,800 yards. At the latter range we fired a few shots, to test the range of the guns. The distance was determined by counting the time between the flash and the report of the enemy's guns.
The battery is still in the position it occupied during the engagement. One horse was killed in the battery.
The officers and men behaved very well. Sergeants Kaiser and Eidleman made some very fine shots.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
SAMUEL N. BENJAMIN,
First Lieutenant Second Artillery, Commanding Battery E.
Lieutenant Colonel WILLIAM HAYS,
Commanding Artillery Reserve.
No. 44. Report of Captain Horatio G. Gibson, Battery C, Third U. S. Artillery.
CAMP BAYARD, VA., December 28, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my battery since the advance of the Army of the Potomac into Virginia and during the battle of Fredericksburg:
On November 4, I received orders to report to General Bayard, on the Alexandria and Winchester turnpike, and accordingly, after a march of 30 miles, joined him near Uppervile the evening of the same day. From there the command moved, via Salem and Warrenton, to Rappahannock Station. The last day's march (November 7) was made in a severe snowstorm, and the battery reached the bridge near that place after nightfall. Lieutenant Lancaster's section, in the advance, with the First Pennsylvania Cavalry, shelled the enemy's camp on the opposite bank of the river, and on the arrival of the rest of the battery a few shots were