The regiment having been formed in line of battle near the headquarters of Brigadier-General Willcox, was ordered to advance with its brigade to the support of the First Brigade, Third Division, Ninth Army Corps. The advance was made to where the Ninth New York lay on the ground, in the rear of and supporting a battery. At this moment, and before the regiment (which had been unavoidably somewhat broken by the obstacles around and over which it had been compelled to pass) had entirely reformed, the lieutenant-colonel commanding was shot dead by a fragment from a shell.
Major M. P. Buffum immediately assumed command; and the Fourth Rhode Island lay on its arms during the night in that place, the Ninth New York being withdrawn in the evening, occupying its proper position in line in the Second Brigade. In the morning the regiment was withdrawn with the brigade; and from that time until the evening of the 15th remained in line in the principal street of Fredericksburg,near the headquarters of General Willcox.
About dark on the evening of the 15th, the regiment accompanied it brigade to the road back of the city, and, forming in line of battle (with the Twenty-first Connecticut on our right and the Eighth Connecticut on our left), threw out guards 200 or 300 feet in advance, and stacked arms, the men lying down in the rear of the stacks. Presently orders were received to fall in, take arms, and march. The Fourth Rhode Island, following the Twenty-first Connecticut, marched down through the city, across the pontoon bridge, back to its old camp.
The following is a list* of the killed, wounded, and missing of the Fourth Rhode Island: * * *
Summary.- Commissioned officers, killed, 1; wounded, 1; enlisted men, wounded, 8; missing, 6. Total, 16.
I have the honor to be, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
M. P. BUFFUM,
Major, Commanding Fourth Rhode Island Volunteers.
Colonel EDWARD HARLAND,
Commanding Second Brigade.
Numbers 144. Report of Major General Joseph Hooker, U. S. Army, commanding Center Grand Division.
WASHINGTON, D. C. September 5, 1863
COLONEL: I have the honor to submit herewith a report of the operations of the center grand division of the Army of the Potomac, under my command.
In obedience to General Orders, Numbers 184, dated November, 1862, Headquarters Army of the Potomac, Warrenton, I assumed command of the center grand division,. composed of the Third Corps (General Stoneman) and Fifth Corps (General Butterfield), and a division of cavalry under General Averell. It having been determined to change the line of operations to the Fredericksburg line, upon the movement of the army I was directed to cover the rear of its march by the two routes from Warrenton, assembling at Hartwood Church. This was successfully and
*Nominal list omitted.