entitled to great credit for the discipline of their regiments, in view of the fact that at least 50 per cent. of their commands were new recruits, for the first time under fire.
The loss in this brigade during the engagement of the 13th, 14th, and 15th instant was as follows: Killed,3; wounded, 22; missing 2; total,27.*
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WALTER PHELPS, JR.,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
Captain E. P. HALSTEAD,
Assistant Adjutant-General, First Brigade.
No. 215. Report of Colonel James Gavin, Seventh Indiana Infantry, commanding Second Brigade.
HEADQUARTERS SECOND BRIGADE, December 18, 1862.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor of submitting the following report of the part taken by my command in the battles near Fredericksburg:
The Second Brigade, consisting of the Seventy-sixth New York Volunteers, Colonel W. P. Wainwright commanding; the Ninety-fifth New York, Colonel Biddle; the Fifty-sixth Pennsylvania, Lieutenant Colonel J. William Hofman, and the Seventh Indiana, Lieutenant Colonel John F. Cheek, took up the line of march from the heights near Falmouth at daylight on the morning of December 12.
About 2 o'clock the Seventh Indiana and the Seventh-sixth New York crossed the river (Rappahannock), about 1 1/2 miles below Falmouth, on the pontoon bridge, the other regiments remaining on this side of the river. At this time I was ordered to guard, with the brigade, the pontoon bridges, stationing two regiments on each side of the river.
About 3 o'clock in the afternoon the enemy commenced a brick cannonade, throwing shot and shell, several of which struck near the bridges, fortunately doing no serious damage. The brigade was relieved during the night of the 12th, and the morning of the 13th ordered to join the division at daylight. I compliance with this order, the Ninety-fifth New York and the Fifty-sixth Pennsylvania crossed the river and joined the other regiments of the brigade. My command then proceeded down the river, and joined the division near the stone house early on the morning of the 13th. The whole of the division advanced slowly about three-quarters of a mile down the river during the forenoon, under a heavy cannonade, the line of battle being at right angles with the river, until the rebels were dislodged from a thick wood near the river. Our front was then changed parallel with the river, and the order given to advance in the direction of the Bowling Green road. While advancing in this direction, I was ordered to support a battery at the angle made by a road crossing the Bowling Green road. In compliance with this order, I placed the brigade about 75 yards in the rear of, and a little to the right of, the battery, protected by two deep ditches. We remained
*But see revised statement,p.137.