War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0333 Chapter XXXIII. BATTLE OF FREDERICKSBURG, VA.

Search Civil War Official Records

until morning, when he was withdrawn to his original position in Caroline street. The picket line was held by the One hundred and third New York Volunteers.

On December 14, at 7 p.m., the Sixteenth Connecticut assumed the duty of picketing, and relieved the One hundred and third New York. On December 15, the line was strengthened by the Eighth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers and by 200 Berdan Sharpshooters, who were sent across Hazel Creek to secure our flank. Soon after dark on the 15th, Harland's brigade was moved up in position a little in front of Caroline street, in the lower part of the town, and the position to be occupied by the line of battle, in case of an attack on the part of the enemy, indicated. Preparations were made for throwing up intrenchments and loop-holing the houses for musketry. Soon after, the Second Brigade was moved across the river into their old camp, the Eighth and Sixteenth Connecticut Volunteers being relieved by the Thirteenth New Hampshire Volunteers.

The First Brigade followed immediately in rear of the Second, and by 4 a.m., every regiment of the Third Division, Ninth Army Corps, occupied its former camp. During these operations, Benjamin's battery (E), Second U. S. Artillery, was placed in battery on the spurs of the heights above Falmouth, where he had a good enfilade fire on the city and works immediately in rear of it.

On the 11th, he received orders to fire on the city, which he did.

Benjamin, from his position succeeded in silencing the enemy's guns on the right whenever they opened fire, but was unable to damage their works in the center, the distance being too great.

On the 16th instant, he was directed by Colonel Hays to shell the stone wall, which was the enemy's line of defense. After many of the shots, squads of men could be seen running out from behind it. One of his guns burst at the second discharge. The ammunition projectiles furnished were of a miserable quality.

Lieutenant Gillis' battery (A), Fifth Artillery, was stationed on the morning of the 11th on the bank of the river to the right of the Lacy house, and in compliance with orders from Brigadier-General Hunt, chief of artillery, shelled the houses occupied by sharpshooters during the day.

The next day he crossed the river and parked in the lower part of Fredericksburg. His battery was not again brought into action, and he recrossed the river and returned to camp on the night of the 15th.

The total loss of the division amounted to 1 officer killed (Lieutenant-Colonel Curtis, commanding Fourth Rhode Island Volunteers, at the head of his regiment), while advancing, by the bursting of a case-shot from one of the enemy's batteries; 7 commissioned officers wounded; 12 enlisted men killed; 200 enlisted men wounded; 64 enlisted men missing. Total, 284.*

Ample preparations for receiving and caring for the wounded were made under the direction of Surg. M. Storrs, medical director of the division, and his assistants.

Capts. Hazard Stevens and Charles T. Gardner, both of my staff, deserve especial mention for the prompt and cheerful manner in which, under fire, they communicated my orders to the different commanders.

Inclosed herewith will be found the reports of brigade, regimental, and battery commanders. Also a list of the non-commissioned officers and


*But see revised statement, p. 133.