War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0408 OPERATIONS IN N.VA., W.VA.,MD. AND PA. Chapter XXXIII.

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rounds of shell and shrapnel, I withdrew the battery, by orders of Captain Weed, and bivouacked in the city.

On the 14th, by Captain Weed's order, I returned to the same position, and remained there during that day and night and the next day. At dark on the 15th, I returned to the city, and early the next morning recrossed the river and returned to the old camp.*

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Captain Battery E, Massachusetts Artillery.

Captain A. P. MARTIN,

Commanding Division Artillery.

No. 176. Report of Colonel James Barnes, Eighteenth Massachusetts Infantry, commanding First Brigade.

HEADQUARTERS FIRST BRIGADE, Camp near Potomac Creek, Va., December 19, 1862.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report the following facts in relation to the operations of this brigade from the 11th to the 15th instant:

On the 11th instant, orders were received to leave camp with tree days' provisions without any other incumbrance. This brigade accordingly took up the line of march at 7 a.m., and proceeded on the road to Falmouth. It was drawn up on open ground opposite Fredericksburg, and remained under arms until night, when it bivouacked in the neighboring wood.

On the morning of the 12th, it was again early under arms, and moved to the neighborhood of the lower pontoon bridge over the Rappahannock, but received no further orders during the day.

On the morning of the 13th instant (Saturday), the brigade was again early under arms, with instructions to be ready at a moment's warning to cross the river.

At about 2 p.m. the movement commenced, and in a few minutes we passed over the bridge into Fredericksburg, and upon reaching the city I was directed to form the brigade in line of battle in rear of the position occupied by a portion of the command of General Sturgis. This was accordingly done, and orders immediately given to advance to the front, for the purpose of relieving those who had been engaged there three of four hours. This command was promptly and eagerly obeyed. The brigade passed over the intervening space through a heavy fire from the rifle-pits and batteries of the enemy, which had been advantageously established upon the crest of the hill up which it passed. Although exposed to this galling fire, and notwithstanding the disadvantage of the ground, which afforded no protection, it gives me pleasure to bear witness to the unflinching devotion of both officers and men to the duty they were called upon to perform. They passed immediately to the front of the troops whom they were sent to relieve, and maintained this advanced position during the rest of the day. The firing here was incessant. From their batteries and rifle-pits in front the enemy


*List of casualties, omitted, shows: Killed, 1 enlisted man; wounded, 1 enlisted man; horses killed and disabled, 14.