War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0406 OPERATIONS IN N.VA., W.VA.,MID., AND PA. Chapter XXXII.

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No. 173. Report of Lieutenant Joseph C. Ayer, Eighteenth Massachusetts Infantry, Chief of Ambulance Corps, First Division.

DECEMBER 17, 1862.

SIR: I have to report that the operations of this corps sine the 11th instant have been as follows:

December 11, inspection at sunrise; teams harnessed; broke camp, and followed division ammunition train toward the front. At sunset unhitched, but remained harnessed all night.

December 12, hitched up at sunrise; followed ammunition trainn to the front. Unhitched at sunset.

December 13, hitched up at sunrise. At 2 p.m. moved down toward the pontoon bridge. At 3.30 p.m. detached my stretcher-men with

forty-three stretchers and sent them across the river to the field. Detailed twelve ambulances to remain on the north side of the bridge and await the return of the stretcher-men. The stretcher-men were employed until 7 p.m. in bringing wounded from the field into the city of Fredericksburg. At 7 p.m. the ambulances crossed the river, went out to the field, and were employed all night in bringing off wounded. I calculate that about 375 were removed from the field to the town this night. At 5.30 p.m. the train recrossed the river and unhitched.

December 14, remained quiet all day. Hitched up at sunrise; unhitched and unharnessed at sunset.

December 15, hitched up at sunrise. My train crossed the river at 10 a.m.; loaded up with all the wounded belonging to the division; brought them to this side. My men assisted in establishing a hospital. The men removed the wounded from the train into the hospital, and at 9 p.m. returned to camp and unharnessed.

December 16, hitched up at sunrise. At 6 a.m. I started from camp with all my lights and scoured the country on this side of the river, and carried every wounded man that could be found to the hospital. At 12 m. detailed six 4-horse and eight 2-horse ambulances to report to the division medical director for the purpose of transporting 100 wounded to the depot. The remainder of the train, by order of Colonel Dickinson, followed the division to the rear, where they are now encamped in their old camp, near the railroad. I have detached 14 ambulances, for use at the general division hospital, under the charge of a lieutenant.

I have to remark that my men have performed their duty quite well, and that I do not think a single wounded man belonging to this division was left upon the other side of the river, or upon this side, out of the hospitals.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. C. AYER,

First Lieutenant, Chief of Ambulance Corps, First Division.

Captain F. B. GILBERT, Chief of Ambulance Corps, Fifth Corps.

No. 174. Report of Capt Augustus P. Martin, Battery C, Massachusetts Light Artillery.

CAMP NEAR POTOMAC CREEK, December 17, 1862.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the