War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0335 Chapter XXXIII. BATTLE OF FREDERICKSBURG, VA.

Search Civil War Official Records

I have pleasure in remarking that the officers and men of my command behaved creditably,and in a manner highly satisfactory to me.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES GILLISS,

Second Lieutenant Fifth Artillery, Commanding Battery A.

Captain CHARLES T. GARDNER,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Third Division.

Numbers 130. Report of Colonel Rush C. Hawkins, Ninth New York Infantry, commanding First Brigade.

IN CAMP NEAR FALMOUTH, VA.

December 19, 1862.

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that, on the evening, of the 10th instant, I received orders to send a regiment to support the engineers, who were to commence laying the bridges across the river, opposite the town of Fredericksburg, early the next morning.

The Eighty-ninth New York Volunteers was ordered for that duty.

The regiment took up its position about 2 o'clock on the morning of the 11th instant, where it remained, receiving and returning the fire of the enemy from the opposite side of the river,until about 4 o'clock that afternoon. At that time General Burnside gave orders for a detail of 100 men from the regiment to cross the river in bateaux, for the purpose of dislodging the enemy on the opposite side, who were in rifle-pits and houses. The detail was made and placed under the charge of Capts. J. Hazley, S. L. Judd, and F. Burt, and Lieutenant W. M. Lewis. The whole party immediately embarked in four bateaux, and, under a heavy fire of musketry, pushed across and landed upon the opposite shore, where they captured 64 prisoners, including 4 commissioned officers . A short time after, the balance of the regiment was sent across in the bateaux, when the two detachments were joined together, and proceeded to the main street of the city, threw out pickets, and bivouacked for the night.

Too much praise cannot be bestowed upon the officers and men who so gallantly crossed the river. It was owing to this daring and boldness that our engineers were enabled to complete the bridge, which they had been at work upon since 3 a.m., and I trust that favorable mention will be made of this occurrence, so it may be known for all time to come who it was that performed one of the most daring exploits of the war.

The brigade, after waiting all the day of the 11th instant under arms, expecting to cross the river, received the order about 5 p.m., to return to camp. We obeyed this order,and had been in camp about fifteen minutes when we received another order to cross the river. We accordingly got under arms, and about 9 p.m. had arrived in the city of Fredericksburg, taking possession of the lower part of the town, and then proceeded to throw out pickets, which connected with General Howard's line on the right.

Nothing of importance occurred, and no duty was performed other than that of picketing in front of our lines and doing guard and patrol duty in town, until about 5 p.m. of the 13th, when the whole brigade was ordered into action. My brigade was ordered to attack the right