having been joined by the Fifty-seventh and Sixty-sixth New York during the afternoon.
About 8 a.m. on the 12th, the brigade resumed its march at the head of the division, and, having crossed the Rappahannock at the Lacy house bridge, took position near the lower bridge, in Fredericksburg.
The Fifty-third Pennsylvania was immediately deployed as skirmishers in rear of the town, and drove the rebel pickets some distance, with the loss of 1 man mortally wounded. The brigade bivouacked on the ground occupied by it in the morning, nothing else having been done worthy of note. The Fifty-third Regiment, having been relieved during the afternoon, bivouacked with the others.
December 13, about 9 a.m., the Fifty-second New York and Second Delaware were sent on picket, but were soon after relieved, and formed on the left of the brigade, which had taken a position on Caroline street, right resting on the railroad.
At 12 m., seeing General French's last regiment filing out past the railroad depot, I directed the Fifty-third Pennsylvania and Twenty-seventh Connecticut to pass out by the same route. The Sixty-sixth and Fifty-seventh New York, conducted by Lieutenant Charles H. H. Broome, aide-de-camp, moved out through the next street to the eastward, and the Second Delaware and Fifty-second New York, conducted by Lieutenant J. M. Faville, aide-de-camp, marched by the street next that taken by Lieutenant Broome. All these commands filed to the right at the outskirts of the town, and formed line of battle, with the Fifty-third Pennsylvania resting on Hanover street, and the Fifty-second New York on the railroad. The brigade then advanced rapidly over the crest of the hill nearest the enemy's line, under a very heavy fire of artillery from the heights, and musketry from a stone wall, sunken road, and numerous rifle-pits, charging over the division of its former commander (General French), and taking a position which was not passed by any line during the day, though some of Kimball's men reached it.
The line was relieved about 4 p.m. (except the Fifty-third Pennsylvania, which held on until 7 p.m.) by a portion of General Sykes' division, and marched back to its former bivoauc, near the river, where it rested that night and the two following days.
On the night of the 15th, the brigade, with the addition of the Sixty-first and Sixty-fourth New York, from General Caldwell's, relieved the pickets in rear of the town about 9 p.m., and was in turn relieved by a brigade of General Sykes' command about 3 a.m., when it recrossed the river to the camp it occupied before the attack on Fredericksburg. The Sixty-first and Sixty-fourth New York also returned to their former camp.
The regiments of the brigade fought in line, and were commanded as follows: The Fifty-third Pennsylvania, Colonel John R. Brooke; Twenty-seventh Connecticut, Colonel Richard S. Bostwick; Sixty-sixth New York, Captain Julius Wehle, killed; Fifty-seventh New York, Major N. G. Throop, wounded; Second Delaware, Colonel William P. Baily, slightly wounded, and Fifty-second New York, Colonel Paul Frank.
I am gratified to state that the conduct of both officers and men of the brigade was all that could be desired. The Twenty-seventh Connecticut, having never before been under fire, and being wretchedly armed, deserve much credit. Colonels Brooke and Frank and Captain Wehle maintained the reputation for splendid courage and distinguished conduct won by them at Fair Oaks, and so well sustained in subsequent battles.