War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0451 Chapter XXXIII. BATTLE OF FREDERICKSBURG,VA.

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his batteries opposite the mouth of Massaponax Creek, and drove the enemy from several artillery positions; but we were annoyed continually by firing from the other side of the Massaponax from long range guns. Little harm, however, was done by them.

When Birney's and Sickles' divisions were placed in position it had become too late to organize another attack before dark, and all of the troops under my command had their been engaged or were in line, except Newton's division, Smith's corps, which was held in reserve for both corps after the whole of Reynolds' corps became engaged.

Burns' division, of Willcox's corps, was guarding the bridges, and on many accounts it would have been imprudent to have taken it away.

While the engagement was progressing on the left, Smith's line of skirmishers was nearly constantly engaged, and his artillery did good service. An attempt was made to advance the skirmish line in front of General Brooks' division, which at first was successful. As the support of the skirmishers were falling back, they were attacked in heavy force and met with severe loss. The position of the enemy in this part of the field being exceedingly strong, the attempt to advance here was abandoned.

On Sunday, the 14th, there was no change in the position of the troops. A desultory cannonading and a brisk skirmish fight along the whole line were carried on during the day, with, I presume, about equal loss on both sides.

On Monday, the 15th, on change took place until about 6 p.m. I was at that time at general headquarters, and was directed to recross my command during the night. The orders were at once telegraphed to General Smith, who was directed to make the preliminary arrangements, commencing the movement on the left. Upon my return to my headquarters, about 7 p.m., I found that the movement was just commencing. It was successfully completed during the night,so that 4 a.m. of the 16th all of the troops and material were on this side of the river and the men in camp.

Our losses in killed and wounded on Saturday were heavy. The numerical list has already been transmitted to headquarters.* The list of names has not yet been made out, but will soon be finished and transmitted.

Brigadier-General Bayard, commanding cavalry division, was killed by a piece of shell while at my headquarters, where he remained, at my request,to receive such orders as might be necessary for the cavalry. The loss of this gallant young general is a severe to his arm of the service, and in him the country has lost one of its most dashing and gallant cavalry officers. Brigadier-General Jackson, of Meade's division, was killed while leading his troops into action. He had already shown distinguished gallantry on the day of his death, and his brigade, under his command,had defended the construction of the bridges on the previous day. Our loss in field officers is heavy, and I respectfully refer you to the accompanying report for their names.

Nothing could be finer than the behavior of the troops from the 11th to the 15th ultimo; under fire, with little exception, during the whole time, and exposed on a plain nearly surrounded with the enemy's artillery, they were steady and brave, and I never saw less straggling.

I desire to expresses my thanks to Major-Generals Reynolds and Smith and Brigadier-General Stoneman for the valuable assistance they rendered me in managing their commands.


*See revised statement, pp.137-142.