War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0279 Chapter XXXIII. BATTLE OF FREDERICKSBURG, VA.

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lines. I directed my men to rise and hold themselves in readiness to advance simultaneously with the line upon my left. But scarcely had we begun to move when this new line staggered, reeled, and fell back in confusion under the awful fire which was poured in upon it. Once it rallied, and moved again to the front, dismayed but not defeated. Again it gave way and fell back toward the town. I directed my men again to lie down, which they did, and my line remained unbroken.

At this juncture Captain Hazard's First Rhode Island Battery galloped to the front, came into battery about 150 yards in my rear, and opened an effective fire upon the enemy. Immediately after him came a column of infantry much stronger than the first, and advanced in line of battle, with its right considerably overlapping my left. Now the decisive hour had come;the enemy had relieved the regiments posted behind the stone wall and the men in the rifle-pits, and an additional battery had been brought to bear upon this position. His troops were being rapidly massed upon the top of the hill, and a more terrific fire than any before was opened upon our lines. Unfortunately that portion of the advancing line which overlaped my left began to fire confusedly over and at my men, still in a recumbent position. Under these circumstances it was impossible for me to get my men upon their feet as quickly as I desired, and before I was able to silence the fire in my rear, this line broke and fell back. Twice it was reformed by the personal exertions of two general officers, whom I afterward learned to be Generals Hooker and Humphreys. Each time it was performed it advanced a little beyond where the other advance had been made, but each time the line was broken, and finally fell back to the town. Captain Hazard's battery, which had done good service in enabling me to hold my position, had suffered severely in men and horses, and retired also to the town.

I still maintained my position, and continued a fire upon the enemy until night closed in, and both sides rested on their arms. I threw out my pickets to the front on a line in advance of any point to which troops had approached during the day. I remained with my brigade upon the ground until relieved by a brigade of regulars, under command of Colonel Buchanan.

The Seventy-first Pennsylvania Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Markoe commanding, did not take part in the engagement, having been detailed on most important picket duty, which, I have reason to believe, was performed with the ability which has always distinguished this regiment.

I regret to say that the One hundred and twenty-seventh Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, which had been temporarily attached to my brigade, fell back when the lines to my left were broken; and as Colonel Jennings, its commander, whom I understand was wounded, has made me no report, I can say nothing of their conduct, except that which came under my personal observation-that the officers and men acted well until the period of their retiring.

On Sunday, the 14th, I detailed the Seventy-first and One hundred and twenty-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers on picket duty, agreeably to orders.

On Monday, the 15th, pursuant to orders, I moved my brigade and took position on the right of Willcox's corps, to support it in the contemplated attack on the left. On that night, at about 8 o'clock, I was ordered to recross the river, which I did, and returned to our former camp ground.

I refer you to the reports of the regimental commanders for a list of