from his rifle-pits, but, for want of sufficient sustaining force, were unable to dislodge him or carry his works.
Our loss in these charges was 1 officers wounded, 1 enlisted man killed, and 16 wounded.
On falling back the second time, we resumed our position behind the crest of the hill. Toward nightfall we threw out pickets 120 yards toward the enemy. At midnight we were relieved, and with the brigade, fourth in line, marched back to the city, where we remained until morning on the ground we had occupied the night before as reserve picket. In the morning we were marched with the brigade to the third line of the division, our left resting on the railroad. In this position we remained until 7 p.m. on the 15th, when we were advanced one block. Here we remained until 10 p.m. same day, when we marched with the brigade, and crossed on the pontoon bridge to the north side of the Rappahannock. Subsequently, with the brigade, we marched back to the former camping ground of the brigade, near Falmouth, which we reached at about 1 o'clock on the morning of the 16th.
In conclusion, I wish to state that the officers and men under my command, without an exception, behaved throughout with coolness, courage, and great gallantry, shrinking from no duty and complaining of no exposure and suffering. They returned to camp conscious of having done all that was in their power to achieve the overthrow of the enemy.
Where all did so well, so nobly, indeed, it would be invidious to make distinctions.
I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient servant,
Lieutenant-Colonel Fifty-ninth New York Vols., Commanding Regiment.
Captain WILLIAM B. LEACH,
No. 91. Report of Brigadier General William H. French, U. S. Army, commanding Third Division.
HDQRS. FRENCH'S (THIRD) DIV., SECOND ARMY CORPS,
Falmouth, Va., December 18, 1862.
MAJOR:I have the honor to report the operations of the Third Division, Second Army Corps, right grand division, Army of the Potomac, from the 10th to the 15th instant.
On the morning of the 11th, my division left its camp, near Falmouth, and proceeded to the bridge opposite Fredericksburg, preparatory to crossing the Rappahannock that night. The Second Division having precedence, on account of the lateness of the hour, that command was the only one to cross, and mine returned to bivouac.
At sunrise on the next morning the division crossed the river by the upper bridge, and took position between the First and Second Divisions, in the town.
At 9.30 a.m. on the 13th instant, I received a circular order from the headquarters of the right grand division, through Second Army Corps headquarters, directing me to move with my division by the Telegraph and Plank roads; drive the enemy back, and carry the batteries on the heights. The divisions were ordered to attack in column by brigades,covered by a strong line of skirmishers. Having made the necessary preparations, at 11 a.m. I sent to the general commanding the corps to report that my division was in readiness.