In conclusion, I have the pleasure to say that my officers, and men discharged their duties faithfully until the close of the battle.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
E. M. GREGORY,
Captain H. C. RANNEY,
Assistant Adjutant-General, First Brigade.
No. 199. Report of Lieutenant Colonel David W. Rowe, One hundred and twenty-sixth Pennsylvania Infantry.
CAMP NEAR FALMOUTH, VA., December 18, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to report the part taken by the One hundred and twenty-sixth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers in the battle of Fredericksburg, December 13, 1862.
The regiment crossed the Rappahannock, with the rest of the brigade, on the afternoon of Saturday, the 13th instant, under the command of Colonel Elder, numbering, in effective men, 606, and in officers 26. Upon entering Fredericksburg, Captain Martin, Company I, was detached for hospital guard, and did not go into action with the regiment. Adjutant Stewart, who, although laboring under a severe attack of fever, had persisted in going forward, was here ordered by the colonel to remain behind, and yielded reluctantly to necessity.
With the remaining nine companies, about 530 men and 24 commissioned officers, the colonel moved with the brigade to the front. While the brigade lay massed on the right of the road, in the first position it took upon the field, the enemy planted a battery on the hills in a position to enfilades us, the second shot from which killed 3 men of Company A and wounded several others. As the regiment moved across the road to take up its second position, on the left of the road, behind the battery, Lieutenant Fortescue, of Company G, was killed by a ball in the side of the head, from a sharpshooters's rifle.
The One hundred and twenty-sixth formed behind the One hundred and thirty-fourth, and in the charge followed that regiment. When the charge was ordered, the officers sprang to the front, and the men followed, cheering. Colonel Elder led, on horseback, in front and a little to the left of the colors. The line advanced, in as good order as the mud would permit, at double-quick, until they unexpectedly came upon a line of men lying on the ground, who, by gestures and words, endeavored to warn them back. This, and the difficulty of passing over these men,created some confusion in the ranks, which was increased by the necessity of pulling down, or scrambling over, two fences to the right of the brick house, which stood in front of the rebel battery, and this confusion was made disorder by a fire which now began from the rear. The regiment stopped, although quite near the stone wall which protected the enemy's infantry, and began to fire. The men could endure, however, but a moment the terrible fire in front and the fire from the rear, and fell back in disorder to the place from which they started on the charge, where they were rallied, and the regiment reformed around the colors, which had been safely brought back. Colonel Elder, who had dismounted on account of the fences, fell, wounded in the thigh, just as the regiment reached its farthest place in advance. Corpl. Thomas