War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0262 OPERATIONS IN N.VA.,W.VA.,MD.,AND PA. Chapter XXXIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

17, 1862, with a large detail of the different regiments of the command, to the battle-field in front of Fredericksburg, Va., where I found and buried 913 of our soldiers, and brought to this side of the river the bodies of 5 officers, making at total of 918. Nearly all the dead were stripped entirely naked by the enemy.

I would also report that those bodies nearest the enemy's works were recognized as belonging to Kimball's brigade, of French's division, and to the different regiments of Hancock's division. The burying occupied two days.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel Fifty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers.

Lieutenant Colonel J. H. TAYLOR,

Chief of Staff and Assistant Adjutant-General.

No. 77. Reports of Brigadier General Oliver O. Howard, U. S. Army commanding Second Division.


Camp near Falmouth, Va., December 19, 1862.

MAJOR:I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my division during the 11th, 13th, and 14th instant:

On the 11th, in accordance with orders from General Couch, I marched from my present camp at 6.30 a.m., in order of brigades, as follows:Colonel Hall's, Colonel Owen's, and General Sully's,and proceeded to vicinity of the Lacy house. The batteries were guided to the same point, and Hazard's Rhose Island Battery sent to General Hunt, by whom it was placed in position on the bank of the river, and fired to cover the bridge-buiders just south of the Lacy house.

General Couch ordered me, at 8 a.m., to detach a brigade to report to General Woodbury at the same house near the river; I did so at once. The brigade (Colonel Hall's) was moved forward and established. The rest of the division was kept under cover from the enemy's shell. There we waited for the completion of the bridge until about 3 p.m., when Colonel Hall, not waiting for the bridge, with the Seventh Michigan, under the gallant Lieutenant-Colonel Baxter, effected the crossing in boats. The Nineteenth and Twentieth Massachusetts followed in boats, and drove the rebel infantry from behind their covers in rifle-pits and cellar, and took some 30 or 40 prisoners. These regiments covered the bridge head while the engineers finished their work.

About sunset the bridge was ready, the last of the Twentieth just having gained the opposite shore. Colonel Hall was ordered to throw the rest of his brigade into the city. Meanwhile General Couch had directed me to bring up the rest of my division. The crossing on the bridge commenced, and was kept up till, just at dark, the left of General Sully's brigade was placed in position. The enemy took up successfully covers, from which he brought a sharp fire upon Colonel Hall's troops, which he moved forward, seizing the streets to the right. Colonel Owen formed the Second Brigade on Colonel Hall's left, and cleared his front by skirmishers.

Just as soon as I got a firm hold on the town, I made my dispositions for the night. Every regiment was under artillery, fire, and Hall's and