by my command in the action before Fredericksburg from the 11th to the 16th instant:
The regiment broke camp at 6 a.m. on the 11th, and formed in the brigade line at 7 o'clock on the field in front of the encampment.
About 8 a.m. we took up the line of march, and, having proceeded about a mile, halted near a wood to the right and rear of General Sumner's headquarters. There we remained until the next morning, when a farther advance was made to the heights in front of the river. From this place we were withdrawn in the afternoon to the woods in the rear, and subsequently pushed forward to the left, camping at 7 p.m. in the woods near the pontoon bridge.
In obedience to orders received the next morning, the regiment was formed at 7.30 o'clock, and marched to the support of the First and Fifth New York Batteries, then in position about 2 miles down the left bank of the river, opposite the Massaponax River, these batteries, being then advance of a large body of cavalry, posted on the left of our line. There I posted my command according to instructions received from the commandant of the reserve batteries, placing two companies with a section on the left in a field to the rear of Gray's mansion, and two companies, under the command of Captain Purchase, on the heights in our rear, a portion of which was extended as a picket to the river. Subsequently the force at Gray's mansion was increased by the addition of two companies from the reserve, a picket having been thrown in front to watch the opposite bank.
On Sunday morning a deserter from the enemy was assisted across the river by some men from the regiment. He informed me that he came from Richmond on Saturday morning; that every man capable of bearing arms was brought from that city. He also stated that the enemy had about 5,000 cavalry on the right of their line, and that their whole force consisted of near 300,000 men. He had not been in the fight, and attempted to desert as soon as he left the cars. He was immediately sent to General Franklin's headquarters.
During the following day the batteries opened fire at intervals on the enemy's cavalry, who were skirmishers with our pickets.
At 9 p.m. the subaltern of the picket having reported that our cavalry picket, stationed on the bank of the river, could not be seen, I went to the line, and found that they had been withdrawn, leaving the bank of the river below my pickets wholly unprotected. I immediately extended my line farther down the river.
Tuesday morning, at 7 a.m., received notice that the batteries were about to move back beyond the mill. Recalled my pickets, and prepared to follow; but, owing to their distance down the river, I was prevented from following immediately.
When the regiment arrived at the mill, no indications of the batteries being visible, we halted a short distance beyond in order to find them. Failing in this, at 12 m. took up my line of march, and arrived in camp with my entire command at 4 p.m. on the 16th.
Although not immediately engaged with the enemy, the conduct of both officers and men was such as to meet with my entire approbation.
With great respect, I remain, yours, &c.
W. H. LOUNSBURY,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Regiment.
Lieutenant H. C. HINMAN,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Brigade.