My command, both officers and men, behaved with the most determined bravery and coolness.
I cannot speak too highly of the skill and gallantry with which Colonel Mason, of the Fourth Ohio, commanding the skirmishers; Colonel Snider, of the Seventh West Virginia; Colonel Wisewell, of the Twenty-eighth, and Colonel Robertson, of the Twenty-fourth New Jersey; Lieutenant-Colonels Godman, of the Fourth Ohio, Sawyer, of the Eighth Ohio, and Lockwood, of the Seventh West Virginia, and Majors Cavins, commanding the Fourteenth Indiana, and Smyth, the First Delaware, managed their several commanders. Colonels Snider and Wisewell, and Lieutenant-Colonel Godman, were dangerously wounded while leading their regiments.
My staff, Captain E. D. Mason, assistant adjutant-general, and Lieuts. J. R. Swigart, and John G. Burrill, aides-de-camp, by my orders reported to Colonel Mason on the field when he took command, and remained with him until after the evacuation of Fredericksburg. I am deeply indebted to them for the prompt and fearless manner in which they performed their perilous duties. Lieutenant Swigart was wounded while carrying dispatches to you.
I desire to call your special attention to the conduct of Private M. A. Wixon, of Company B, Twenty-third New York Volunteers, whom you sent as guide, and who performed his duties with intelligence and skill, faithfully bearing important information on the field, and bearing himself in a manner deserving distinguished notice.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant J. W. PLUME,
Aide-de-Camp and Assistant Adjutant-General, Third Division.
No. 94. Report of Colonel John S. Mason, Fourth Ohio Infantry, commanding First Brigade.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST BRIGADE,
Camp near Falmouth, Va., December 17, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to report that on Saturday morning, December 13, the Eighth Ohio Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Sawyer; the First Delaware Volunteers, Major Smyth, and the Fourth Ohio Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Godman, numbering about 700, were placed under my command, to form the line of skirmishers in the attack on the enemy's works in front of the city of Fredericksburg.
My orders were to throw out a cloud of skirmishers, to be well supported, and to drive the enemy's skirmishers before us, and enter their breastworks simultaneously with them; to take advance of the ground; to cover out men,and to keep about 200 yards in front of the first line.
My command rested on Princess Anne street, the right near Hanover street, and moved at about 12 o'clock. I directed Lieutenant-Colonel Sawyer to move his regimen, by the left flank, up Hanover street, cross the canal, and deploy as skirmishers to the left, joining his left with the right of the First Delaware. I took the First Delaware and