War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0413 Chapter XXXIII. BATTLE OF FREDERICKSBURG,VA.

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until quite noon; moved then to the lower bridge, and about 4 p.m. crossed the river and moved in line of battle, with right resting on the railroad track, 50 yards, in front of the depot. In one hour I obeyed the order to advance the Forty-fourth New York on my right and Sixteenth Michigan on my left. Previous to the advance, and while lying down, the regiment was subjected to a heavy fire of artillery, wounding a number of our officers and men. Rising, we moved forward rapidly and gained the crest of the hill in front of the enemy's right center batteries. Their guns opened upon us, with great briskness. Obliquing to the right, in order to preserve my connection, I found two of my left companies obstructed in their effort to cross the railroad track, which at this point lay in a gorge, some 15 feet deep, by the Tenth New Hampshire, which was filed into it in great confusion. I immediately halted my command, brought over those companies into position, and advanced again. The storm of shot and shell and musketry that now poured into us was exceedingly destructive. The enemy's guns completely commanded this ridge and its front slope. Officers and men fell rapidly, but there was not a waver of the line. Reaching the foot of the slope, I wheeled the regiment to the right, in order to gain the position designated, at the little white house in front, and presume to say that a maneuver under so galling a fire of musketry, in addition to the severe cross-fire of artillery, could not be more handsomely accomplished.

My company officers held their commands well in hand. Immediately in front and left of the house referred to was another hill, beneath the crest of which I formed my regiment. Other troops occupied the crest, and were firing rapidly to the front. I immediately sent my adjutant for orders. He reported himself unable to find the commanding officers of the brigade, amid so many troops. I at once moved my regiment, by the flank, around the crest of the hill to the left of the troops in front, forming them at about a right angle, and commenced firing. Moving to the extreme left, which was subjected to an enfilading fire, for the purpose of withdrawing it under cover, I observed the flash of guns in front, issuing toward the enemy's instead of toward out line. I endeavored to ascertain from the commanding officer of the regiment we relieved whether were any more troops in front. He was entirely unable to say. I directed the firing to cease. In a few moments a brigade came rushing in through my regiment from the ravine a few hundred yards in front, and formed in my rear. The officers in command said there were no others there.

It being now quite dark, I threw out one company of my regiment as vedettes to the front of my own line, and requested Colonel Welch, of the Sixteenth Michigan, to protect my left with pickets from his command, then in my rear, which was at once done. We laid upon our arms during the night, and an hour before the break of day I moved my regiment back to its original position, under cover from the enfilading fire of the enemy's right batteries.

This position we held during the succeeding day, under fire of artillery and musketry from both front and flank, replying only at intervals to the shots of sharpshooters, who had endeavored to enfilade our left from the hill in front track, and causing them to abandon their position.

We buried our dead on the evening of the 14th, and returned, when the brigade was relieved, at 11 p.m.

I cannot fail to commend the conduct of my officers. I received from them the heartiest co-operation and most efficient aid in every respect.