On the 14th and 15th we remained in the city inactive, but exposed to the shell of the enemy, which, however, did but little harm.
On the night of the 15th, having received orders from Major-General Sumner to recross the river, the Second and Ninth Corps were withdrawn from the town, and, with the exception of the pickets, were on the left bank of the river at 1 a.m. on the 16th.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
D. N. COUCH,
Major-General, Commanding Second Corps.
Lieutenant Colonel J. H. TAYLOR,
Chief of Staff and Assistant Adjutant-General.
No. 54. Report of First Lieutenant Edmund Kirby, Battery I, First U. S. Artillery.
CAMP NEAR FALMOUTH, VA., December 16, 1862.
In accordance with orders received on the morning of December 11, I reported, with Light Company I, First U. S. Artillery, at the Lacy house. I was placed in position by Colonel C. H. Tompkins, Rhode Island Light Artillery, near this place and on the left bank of the Rappahannock, wit instructions to fire into the buildings on the opposite bank, where the enemy's sharpshooters were posted, and who were interfering with the construction of the bateau bridge. We fired solid shot most of the day, as the fuses furnished for light 12-pounder guns are very defective, and not to be trusted when firing over our own troops. The enemy kept up a fire from their sharpshooters upon the cannoneers, and wounded 1 man.
Toward evening they opened with two or three batteries, posted on the opposite heights, but did no damage. I fired at this point about 600 rounds of ammunition, and was withdrawn after dark, by Captain C. H. Morgan, chief of artillery, Second Corps.
On December 12, we crossed the river, and remained in the streets, without taking a position.
On the 13th, while our infantry was engaged, I was ordered to the front, by Captain C. H. Morgan; but, as no position could be found for these guns, I was directed to place sections in the streets.
Toward evening, Major-General Hooker ordered the right section, under command of Lieutenant Woodruff, First Artillery, to the front, and placed him in position near the right, which order was confirmed by Major-General Couch, with instructions to burst shell at a point where we were endeavoring to concentrate our artillery fire. The fuses were defective. He was compelled to fire solid shot.
After dark this section, as well as the two posted on the streets, was withdrawn to the lower part of the town, where I remained until I recrossed the river.
The casualties are 6 men wounded.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
First Lieutenant, U. S. Army, Commanding Light Company I, First Arty.
Major FRANCIS A. WALKER,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Corps.
15 R R-VOL XXI