War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0496 OPERATIONS IN N.VA.,W.VA.,MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXIII.

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Surg. E. R. Westcott was on duty with the regiment on the south side of the river. Rev. W. T. Campbell, chaplain, was also on duty in the division hospital. Quartermaster Samuel Lyon and Commissary-Sergeant MacMontgomery were on duty with the train, and in forwarding necessary supplies to the regiment on the battle-field.

No. 232. Report of Colonel Peter Lyle, Ninetieth Pennsylvania Infantry, commanding Second Brigade.


SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report as to the part borne by the Second Brigade in the action of December 13, near Fredericksburg, Va.:

At daylight on the morning of the 13th instant, the brigade was under arms, in obedience to orders from General Gibbon. At 8 o'clock I formed line parallel with the road running south from Fredericksburg, in the rear of the Third Brigade, commanded by General Taylor. At 9 o'clock I advanced across the road, breaking by the right of companies to the front into column, passing over about one-third of the field toward the enemy, who were in the wood in front, were I halted and formed line about 100 yards in rear of the Third Brigade, when I ordered the men to lie down, my line being parallel with the road, that of General Taylor's being oblique, his left thrown a little forward. We remained in this position between three and four hours, under a fire from the enemy's batteries upon our right and front of shell, and grape, the shot generally falling short or going over the brigade. We sustained a loss of 15 or 16 men here, 2 of my orderlies having their horses shot under them.

At 1 o'clock by order of General Gibbon, the brigade moved forward, taking position upon the left of the Third Brigade, within 50 yards of the wood, under a most galling fire from the enemy, and remained in that position some twenty-five or thirty minutes, when Lieutenant-Colonel Leech, of the Ninetieth Pennsylvania, and Major Wetmore, of the Twenty-sixth New York Volunteers, reported to me that they had exhausted their ammunition. I ordered them to remain in line, seeing the First Brigade, Colonel Root, coming to our relief, telling the Ninetieth and Twenty-sight to lie down when the First Brigade came up,so that they could pass over them. At the same time the Twelfth Massachusetts and One hundred and thirty-sixth Pennsylvania Volunteers advanced with the First Brigade into the wood. I then ordered the Ninetieth and Twenty-sixth to retire to a ditch about 100 yards to the left and rear, to gather ammunition from the cartridge-boxes lying upon the ground, and open fire as a check upon a body of the enemy who had emerged from the wood upon our left.

Just as they reached this position, I received an order from General Taylor to move them to the front, which was promptly obeyed. They advanced to the railroad at the edge of the wood, where, finding Colonel McCoy's regiment,of the First Brigade,moving to the right along the railroad, I ordered the Ninetieth and Twenty-sixth to move by a flank, following Colonel McCoy,not knowing what disposition General Taylor wished to make of them, as they were out of ammunition; but supposing he wanted them to charge with another column, after