Numbers 109. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Charles Albright, One hundred and thirty-second Pennsylvania Infantry.
CAMP NEAR FALMOUTH, VA., December 18, 1862.
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part my regiment took in the late battle of Fredericksburg:
At the time of leaving my camp near Falmouth, the One hundred and thirty-second Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers was attached to Colonel Morris' brigade, commanded at the time by Colonel Palmer, of the One hundred and eighth New York Volunteers. On our march to Fredericksburg nothing occurred worthy of special notice. The spirit of the men was fine and enthusiastic. I left camp with about 340 men, whom I considered in any fair fight equal to three times their number of rebels.
On the morning of the 13th, I was ordered to report to Colonel Andrews, commanding Third Brigade, and I was glad, for my boys preferred fighting with and alongside of veterans. The command was meager in officers; neither the colonel nor major was present,and just as the regiment was moving off to the bloody struggle, Adjt. F. L. Hitchcock, who had been absent on sick leave, came to my aid and assisted me greatly. He conducted himself with great gallantry and bravery; was wounded in two places, but is on duty now. His example, off and on the battle-field, is worthy of imitation. Some of the companies were commanded by non-commissioned officers, while others had but a single line officer with them; but in spite of this lack of officers, the men, with a few ignoble exceptions, went into the fight most nobly and heroically. They passed, doubtless, through the most bloody and trying battle of the war,but they followed in good style, and I have nothing but praise to bestow on the men of the regiment. I have the proud satisfaction of knowing, too, that our conduct was observed by the rebels, and called forth their admiration. In sending a flag of truce for a dead officer, my detail was asked to what regiment they belonged, and when told the One hundred and thirty-second Pennsylvania, they were told that the regiment came up in fine style and fought most bravely. The proportion of killed and wounded to the number that went into the engagement is quite heavy. All our color-bearers were killed or wounded. Five men and 2 commissioned officers were shot down while bearing off the colors. The two officers were Lieutenants McDougall, of Company C, and Hoagland, of Company H. The latter was mortally wounded whilst proudly bearing aloft the glorious stars and stripes. I cannot avoid mentioning an incident of valor. Private John Kistler, of Company F, had his arm blown off at the elbow by a cannon ball as we entered the field,and when we fell back I met him still on the field, with his arm tied up, eating a cracker. He came up to me, and said, "Colonel, I hope we shall whip them yet." Although my command suffered severely, yet the boys are in good spirits, and would not object to meet the rebels upon a more equal field. I left the field in good order about 5 o'clock, and the morning after the battle I had 200 men together and in good condition. Below I append a list* of my killed and wounded.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Regiment.
Lieutenant WILLIAM P. SEVILLE,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Third Brigade.
*Embodied in revised statement, p. 131