the third day, about 6 miles northerly from Port Tobacco. We passed Port Tobacco about noon of the fourth day,and encamped for the night some 6 miles west of that place. The fifth day,in the midst of a could and violent snow-storm, we encamped about 1 1/2 miles from Liverpool Point, or Blue bank, as it is sometimes called, a point on the Potomac nearly opposite Aqua Creek. On the morning of the sixth day we broke camp and marched to Bluebank, where we were detained some eight hours, awaiting transportation; the soldiers during that time being exposed to a keen, cold, and piercing wind, which swept down the river and across the plateau where they were halted.
My regiment was ferried across the Potomac about 6 o'clock Saturday evening. The weather was extremely cold, and the men suffered much from its severity. From Aqua Creek, where we landed, we marched about 2 miles, and encamped in a ravine well sheltered from the northerly winds, but filled with snow. The baggage of the field and staff officers, including their blankets, mess-chests, eatables, &c., was, through the inefficiency and neglect of the transportation officials, left on the Maryland side of the river, and notwithstanding the faithful exertions of brigade and regimental quartermasters,was detained from us nearly two days. Consequently we were without blankets or shelter for two nights of intense cold weather. The result in my own case was an attack of illness, from which I have not yet recovered, though I have had the good fortune thus far to be able to be on duty. I was, however, only a sufferer in common with others. In this encampment we remained until the next Tuesday afternoon, when we moved to this point, reaching here Wednesday afternoon. Our brigade was then broken up, and my regiment was assigned to the First Brigade (Colonel Hawkins), Third Division (Brigadier General Getty), Ninth Army Corps (Brigadier-General Willcox), in Major-General Summer's right grand division.
This brigade is composed of the Ninth (Hawkins' Zouaves), Eighty-ninth and One hundred and third New York, Tenth and Thirteenth New Hampshire, and Twenty-fifth New Jersey Volunteers.
On Wednesday evening, we received orders to be ready to move the next morning. Thursday, we were in line all day, ready and waiting orders to move, and listening silently to the heavy cannonading and sharp musketry principally on our right, or watching the smoke rising from the burning buildings of Fredericksburg, directly in our front. Just after dark we moved to the river, and crossed without opposition the pontoon bridge near the lower end of the city. My regiment took up its position for the night in Caroline street, on of the principal streets of the city, and threw out two companies, Company B, Captain Dodge, and Company E, Captain Julian, as pickets, toward the enemy. This position we occupied until Saturday morning, the two companies on picket duty being relieved by Company C, Captain Bradley, and Company G, Lieutenant Forbush, commanding.
At an early hour on Saturday morning, the eventful and disastrous day oft he battle, we took up our position with the brigade, under the hill, on the bank of the river, just below the bridge, which we crossed on Thursday night. Here we remained under arms the entire day, our position being about a mile distant from the line of the enemy's batteries. Occasionally during the day fragments of shell from his guns reached us or passed over us,falling in the river and beyond,and doing but little damage. One of our own guns, however,on the opposite bank of the river, which threw shells over us toward the enemy, was so unfortunately handled as to kill 2 men and wounded several others in our brigade.