passing well to the right, in front of where the Third Brigade had engaged the enemy, and finding the several regiments of the First and Third Brigades retiring, I gave orders for the Ninetieth and Twenty-sixth also to retire. Passing to the left, I found the One hundred and thirty-sixth retiring from the wood, Colonel Bayne informing me he had exhausted his ammunition. I got them in line and retired with them. After retiring about half way across the field to the road, General Taylor rode up and ordered me to halt the regiment and protect with the bayonet Hall's battery, upon our left, he (General Taylor) being informed by Colonel Bayne he was out of ammunition. After halting four of five minutes, the battery limbered up and retired with the infantry who were supporting it. I then ordered Colonel Bayne to retire, which he did, as did the rest of the brigade, in good order across to the north side of the road, where the brigade was formed into line. I then, by order of General Taylor, caused a detail to be made from each regiment to go upon the battle-field and gather cartridge-boxes to supply themselves with ammunition. At dark we received ammunition sufficient to supply each man with 60 rounds with what we gathered upon the field, and were also furnished with rations.
At 2 o'clock next morning we were moved to the left about 1 mile, in rear of General Doubleday's division, forming three lines, the First Brigade being the first, the Second Brigade the second, and the Third Brigade the third. We remained in this position until the night of the 15th instant, when we recrossed the Rappahannock to the north bank.
I take pleasure in bearing testimony to the coolness and bravery of Colonel Bates, commanding Twelfth Massachusetts; Colonel Bayne, commanding One hundred and thirty-sixth Pennsylvania Volunteers; Lieutenant-Colonel Leech, commanding Ninetieth Pennsylvania Volunteers; Lieutenant-Colonel Jennings, commanding Twenty-sixth New York Volunteers (who was wounded in the early part of the action); Lieutenant-Colonels Allen and Wright; Majors Sellers and Wetmore, and to the line officers of the several regiments of the brigade. The steadiness and good behavior of the men, in my opinion, have never been excelled.
A list of casualties* has already been forwarded to division headquarters, and I herewith append copies of the reports of the regimental commanders.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
Lieutenant J. W. POWELL, JR.,
Aide-de-Camp and A. A. A. G., Second Division.
No. 233. Report of Colonel James L. Bates, Twelfth Massachusetts Infantry.
CAMP NEAR FALMOUTH, VA., December 16, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to report the particulars of the battle of Fredericksburg, fought on the 13th instant, so far as the Twelfth Massachusetts was concerned.
General Gibbon's division was formed in three brigade lines. The
*Embodied in revised statement,pp.138,139.
32 R R-VOL XXI