by the bright intelligence and fearlessness which carried him through the thickest of the fight, with laurels which an older brow might proudly wear.
In enumerating the members of my staff, I cannot omit Captain Malachi Martin, the able and indefatigable quartermaster of the brigade, who has on several occasions stood the enemy's fire with me, and rendered at every risk important services to me in gallant style.
I have the honor to be, most faithfully, your obedient servant,
THOMAS FRANCIS MEAGHER,
The ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL OF THE DIVISION.
P. S.-For individual instances of courage and good conduct during the action in the enemy's works, and for more minute details and incidents during the advance on the first line of the enemy's works, I refer you to the reports of the commandants of the different regiments.
No. 64. Report of Colonel Richard Byrnes, Twenty-eighth Massachusetts Infantry.
NEAR FALMOUTH, VA., December 21, 1862.
SIR: In compliance with instructions from division headquarters, I have the honor to transmit herewith the following report of the operations of this command during the late battle before Fredericksburg, Va.:
The regiment broke up camp on the morning of the 11th instant, and proceeded with the brigade, by Stafford Court-House road, to the ravine in rear of General Sumner's headquarters, where it formed in column of battalion, and rested behind its stacks during the day.
At 5 p.m. it moved to a skirt of wood on a road to the right of General Sumner's headquarters, where it bivouacked for the night.
At 8 a.m. on the 12th instant resumed the march, and crossed the Rappahannock by the right or upper pontoon bridge to Fredericksburg, and, effecting our crossing without loss, moved to the left along the road fronting the river until we arrived almost opposite the lower pontoon bridge, where the line halted and stacked arms in column of battalion, left in front. We remained in this position until 12 m. on the 13th instant, when, with the remainder of the brigade, the line was formed, this regiment being in the center, and marched back in the direction of the upper pontoon bridge, halting at the railroad. Here we remained two hours, exposed to the fire from the enemy's batteries,and losing 4 men, wounded by shells. The line was then moved through the streets to the plain opposite the enemy's works, being all the time exposed to a heavy shot and shell fire, and suffering severely.
Following the direction of the column, we crossed the canal by the flank (files undoubted), and reformed line of battle on opposite side, where we remained lying on the ground for the minutes, when the order was given to advance in line, and we marched to the crest of the hill, directly in front of grape, canister, and musketry.
On arriving at the crest of the hill, the firing was so severe and concentrated that the men were compelled to take shelter by lying down and many endeavored to hold their position, by piling wood, to form a barricade, in rear of a brick house on our right, behind which they did