During this time, the Eighth Regiment of New York Cavalry, under Colonel B. F. Davis, picketed the river in the vicinity of King George Court-House, as well as the country between the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers, covering our left flank. The Sixth Regiment of New York Cavalry, under Colonel Devin, picketed the fords above Falmouth and the country in the direction of Hartwood.
On December 12, two squadrons of the Eighth Illinois Cavalry, under Major Beveridge, crossed the river and make a reconnaissance above Fredericksburg, and found the enemy's pickets strongly posted at the bridge over the canal. This command remained in observation at this point until relieved by two squadrons, under Major Clendenin, who continued at this duty until the withdrawal of the army.
The Sixth Regular Cavalry, under Captain Cram, on December 13 was posted above and to the rear of Falmouth, in support of batteries. On the death of General Bayard, from a mortal wound received in the action of the left grand division, Colonel D. McM. Gregg, of the Eighth Pennsylvania Cavalry, was assigned to the command of Bayard's division, and Colonel Devin took command of the Second Brigade.
I avail myself of this occasion to commend to the major-general commanding the right grand division the fidelity with which the officers and men of this division discharged the duties required of them on these occasions.
I remain, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant Colonel J. H. TAYLOR,
Chief of Staff, Right Grand Division.
No. 53. Report of Major General Darius N. Couch, U. S. Army, commanding Second Army Corps.
HEADQUARTERS SECOND ARMY CORPS,
Camp near Falmouth, Va., January --, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the Second Army Corps between December 10 and 16:
During the night of December 10, General Hancock was directed to send two regiments from Colonel Zook's brigade to protect the working parties who were throwing bridges over the Rappahannock, opposite the city of Fredericksburg, and where this corps was to cross.
At 8 a.m. on the 11th, the command was massed under cover in rear of where the bridges were being constructed, and was held in readiness for crossing, in obedience to orders from Major-General Sumner, commanding right grand division. At the same time I received directions from the major-general commanding right grand division to send a brigade to report to Brigadier-General Woodbury, of the engineers. The brigade commanded by Colonel N. J. Hall, of Howard's division, was detailed for this purpose. Notwithstanding the heavy artillery fire on the town, the enemy were not dislodged.
It was then decided to send over the troops in boats. Lieutenant-Colonel Baxter, Seventh Michigan Regiment, followed by the Nineteenth and Twentieth Massachusetts, crossed the river in the pontoon boats, seized the buildings occupied by the enemy's sharpshooters, took a number