War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0235 Chapter XXXIII. BATTLE OF FREDERICKSBURG, VA.

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orders came to move forward to the attack. My regiment started slightly in advance of the rest of the brigade, and almost instantly encountered a storm of shell, canister, and rifle balls. No man faltered or straggled. We were moving rapidly and steadily on, when I was unfortunately disabled by the explosion of a shell directly in front of me. Major Sturtevant immediately took command, but soon fell, and is supposed to be killed. By this time the regiment had reached a position as near the rifle-pits of the enemy as it was possible to get, owing to the squads and groups of troops (mostly new regiments) in very disorderly condition, who were firing wildly at the enemy. My officers endeavored to form line of battle in such manner as to move forward and carry the enemy's rifle-pits; the rest of the brigade endeavored to accomplish the same result, but were unable to do so, owing to the confusion and the terrible fire of the enemy. My regiment advanced farther than any regiment of the division, and held its place as long as there was any organization left. When all my officers were disabled but 3, not more than 30 men for duty, and they completely out of ammunition, orders came to withdraw. Captain James E. Larkin brought off all that were left who were able to walk.

The regiment went into action with 247 bayonets and 19 commissioned officers. Its loss was as follows: Commissioned officers-killed,4; wounded, 12; missing, 1 (Major E. E. Sturtevant). Enlisted men-killed, 15; wounded, 142; missing, 12; making a total of 186 men killed, wounded, and missing.*

Allow me to state here the reason why the loss of my regiment was so heavy was, the men held their ground and endeavored to whip the enemy, instead of skulking or shamefully leaving the field, as many of the new regiments did.

In regard to Major Sturtevant, he was seen badly wounded; his body cannot be found. It is supposed that he died on the field. He was a brave and faithful officer, and his loss is greatly regretted by the regiment.

Captains Murray, Perry, Moore,and Lieutenant Ballou, who were killed while bravely encouraging their men, were among the best officers in the service. Captain Perry was shot with the colors of the regiment in his hand. Captain Murray fell dead in the front rank. Captain Moore was first shot in the arm, and soon afterward received a mortal wound. The other officers present were Captains Pierce, Larkin, Keller, and Crafts; First Lieutenants Graves, Cummings, and Bean, and Second Lieutenants Goodwin, Liscomb, Sanborn, and Nettleton. All were wounded except Captains Pierce and Larkin and Lieutenant Sanborn, and all behaved with prudence and bravery. Justice to the dead, the wounded, and the few unscathed of my regiment constrains me to express the opinion that no soldiers on any battle-field ever exhibited greater bravery or devotion.

At the time of writing this report I have 3 officers and 63 enlisted men for duty. They are in their places in line of battle, and I greatly regret that I am not able to be with them.

I herewith inclose a list * of the killed, wounded, and missing of my regiment.

Very respectfully,


Colonel Fifth New Hampshire Volunteers.


Assistant Adjutant-General.


*But see revised statement, p.129.