The strength of the regiment on the field at the commencement of the fight was 280 rifles. The loss was 158 killed and wounded, including 9 commissioned officers.*
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
EZRA F. WETMORE,
Major Twenty-sixth New York Volunteers, Commanding.
Lieutenant D. P. WEAVER,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Brigade.
No. 235. Report of Lieutenant Colonel William A. Leech, Ninetieth Pennsylvania Infantry.
IN CAMP NEAR FALMOUTH, VA., December 18, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to report the part taken by the regiment under my command in the engagement on Saturday, December 13.
About 7 a.m. on the day, having had laid on our arms during the previous night, I received orders to get my men in line.
About 8 a.m. we were in line with the brigade, this regiment being third in line of battle in the brigade, the Twenty-sixth New York being on our right and the One hundred and thirty-sixth Pennsylvania being on our left, the Twelfth Massachusetts occupying the right of the brigade. The brigade took position in rear of the Third Brigade, under fire, two men of the regiment being wounded while we were taking up our position. Having been formed in line the brigade was ordered forward, and we advanced by right of companies to the front, across the road running south from Fredericksburg, and took position in a cornfield about 100 yards in rear of the Third Brigade, a portion of which were engaged as skirmishers. While taking this position we were subjected to a severe fire from the enemy's batteries in our front and a little to the right. Here we were ordered to lie down.
We remained in this position from about 9 a.m. until about 1 p.m., subjected during most of that time to the shells of the enemy's batteries not only from the wood in front but from batteries on our left flank. Fortunately these shells fell either in front or immediately behind the regiment and did us no damage, but we lost some men wounded by occasional shots from the enemy's skirmishers.
About 1 p.m., after a severe cannonading from our batteries on the left, which was replied to very spiritedly by the enemy's batteries, I observed the division on our left advancing toward the enemy in line of battle. Almost immediately I received orders from Colonel Lyle to advance, and at once pushed my regiment forward with the rest of the brigade. I received orders to advance to a hillock, about 40 yards in front of the wood occupied by the enemy. As we advanced, the Third Brigade obliqued off to the right and uncovered the position I was ordered to occupy. Having gained the hillock, we halted and opened fire. We continued our fire upon the enemy until all available ammunition was expended. About this time General Taylor rode up to me and asked me to charge into the wood in front. As my men were rapidly falling, and out of 189 muskets taken into action I had but about 100 left, and these were without ammunition, I referred him to the colonel
*But see revised statement,p.138.