War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0446 OPERATIONS IN N.VA.,W.VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXIII.

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fire, to within a short distance of the stone wall, when the fire became so terrific that I deemed it prudent to order the regiment down upon the ground, when the men fired incessantly until dark. Soon after, my left was broken and forced back to the battle line by a portion of the One hundred and twenty-sixth Regiment, which was falling back in some confusion. The right, composing six companies, I succeeded in firmly holding in position, although subjected to a most galling fire, until 7 o'clock, when I was ordered to retire.

Before leaving the field I collected all my wounded, also a few from other regiments, which I brought off.

The conduct of both officers and men was enthusiastic throughout.

The troops of my command, with but few exceptions, exhibited the coolness and daring of true soldiers, and, so far as I could observe, accomplished all that could be expected of them, under the circumstances.

I have to regret the loss of 2 brave officers, Captain Ryan, Company F, and Lieutenant Bruner, Company E, besides 7 other seriously wounded, with over 150 men killed and wounded.



Lieutenant Colonel, Commanding One hundred and thirty-first Regiment.


Commanding Second Brigade.

No. 205. Report of Colonel Franklin B. Speakman, One hundred and thirty-third Pennsylvania Infantry.

CAMP NEAR POTOMAC CREEK, VA., December 20, 1862.

COLONEL: I have the honor to report, in brief, the part of the One hundred and thirty-third Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers took in the late engagements near Fredericksburg.

Between 2 and 3 p.m. on Saturday, the 13th instant, the regiment, in common with the other regiments of this brigade, was ordered to cross the river. This was successfully done, although the shells from the enemy's batteries were falling thick and fast around,a nd exploding over us. The river being safely crossed, I advanced my regiment, as commanded by you, through Fredericksburg, crossing the canal or race just outside of the city, and filing to the left, where,under cover of a small hill, line of battle was formed. The regiment was placed on the right, and in the advance, the fourth battalion (Colonel Allen's) being on our left. After the line of battle was formed, knapsacks were unsung, bayonets fixed, and we charged up and over the hill, about 250 yards, when we came upon a line of troops lying down. My men, not knowing that they should pass over this line, covered themselves as well as they could in the rear of this line. The troops in front neither advancing or retiring, and as a second charge was ordered from this point, I passed over them, and charged to the right of, and past, the brick house, to within about 50 yards of the stone wall, and to the left of the house, to the crest of the hill. These positions were held for one hour, under a most terrific fire from the enemy's infantry and artillery, until it became dusk, when I was ordered to withdraw, which I did, and reformed line of battle on right of road, and a little in rear of where our