six. In that time we had 5 officers wounded; enlisted men, 15 killed, 87 wounded, and 3 missing, making an aggregate of 105 out of the 258 which we took into the fight.*
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
JAMES L. BATES,
Colonel, Commanding Twelfth Massachusetts Volunteers.
Lieutenant D. P. WEAVER,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Brigade.
No. 234. Report of Major Ezra F. Wetmore, Twenty-sixth New York Infantry.
NEAR FALMOUTH, VA., December 18, 1862.
SIR; I have the honor to report the part taken by the regiment in the engagement of December 13.
About 7 a.m. on that day, having laid on our arms during the preceding night, orders were received to get into line. Immediately conformed to the order, his regiment being second in line of the brigade, the Twelfth Massachusetts on the right and the Ninetieth Pennsylvania Volunteers on our left, the brigade taking position in rear of the Third Brigade about 100 yards, under fire.
We moved forward by the right of companies to the front, across the road running south from Fredericksburg. In advancing, were subjected to a severe fire from the enemy's batteries on the right. Taking position in a corn-field in line of battle, we were ordered to lie down, in which position we remained until about 1 p.m., losing 1 man killed and 6 wounded during the interim from the artillery fire of the enemy in front and flank.
About 1 p.m. received orders from Colonel Lyle, commanding the brigade, to advance. The regiment at once pushed forward in line of battle with the brigade, and opened fire on the enemy at about 80 yards distance. The regiment remained in this position until the ammunition was exhausted. Notice was given to the commanding officer of the brigade that the ammunition was failing. The regiment maintained its position until relieved by the First Brigade, we lying down while it passed over us. Then retired to within 160 yards of the position occupied in the morning, with orders to collect ammunition from the boxes of the killed and wounded. Immediately faced about, and, with 2 rounds of cartridges, fixed bayonets, and charged, with the Ninetieth Pennsylvania Volunteers, to the railroad and over to the edge of the timber occupied by the enemy. At this moment the troops on the right and left of the brigade retiring, we were ordered to retire also, the regiment executing the movement in good order, falling back nearly to the position occupied in the morning. While at this point we gathered cartridge-boxes and replenished our ammunition. While falling back we carried most of our wounded with us.
During the night we moved our position to the left, remaining in the last-named position until Monday, December 15, when this regiment was ordered to the front in support of a battery, remaining as such support until after dark, when we were ordered to rejoin the brigade, and crossed the river at about 10 p.m.
*But see revised statement, p.138.