in line of battle, perpendicular to the First Brigade, the right resting upon the left of the First Brigade, and the Ninth Regiment deployed in front as skirmishers. This position was hardly assumed when the enemy opened quite a destructive fire from a battery posted in front of our left. The brigade remained in this position for several hours, losing a number of men by the enemy's artillery.
About 1 o'clock orders were received to change front forward and form on the left of the First Brigade, which being accomplished, the line moved forward, receiving, as it advanced, a heavy artillery fire. The course taken was across a clear field, toward a hill, the crest of which was covered with a wood. The enemy's skirmishers were about 200 yards in advance of our batteries, and were driven in. The rebels, strongly posted behind a stone wall, now opened a most destructive fire of musketry, notwithstanding which and a rapid discharge from a battery, so posted as to enfilade our line, the men steadily advanced, drove the enemy from their position, gained the railroad, and penetrated into their camps, holding the position against vastly superior numbers for over an hour, when, the last round of ammunition being exhausted and no support coming up, the brigade was forced to fall back, leaving General Jackson dead upon the field.
I cannot close this portion of my report without expressing the conviction that had we been promptly supported, that portion of the field gained by the valor of our troops could and would have been held against any force that the enemy would have been able to have thrown against us. The brigade, withdrawn from the fight, joined the division near the ground it occupied the previous night, where it remained until the night of the 15th instant, when it recrossed the river.
Too much cannot be said in praise of the gallantry of both officers and men throughout the engagement. Never was the courage and stamina of troops put to a severer test, and never did they more nobly vindicate themselves.
In the death of General Jackson, who fell while encouraging and sustaining his men, this brigade has lost a brave and good leader. To his example and conduct, and that of his aides, Captain Swearingen and Lieutenants Bemus and Chamberlain, is owing, in a great measure, the steadiness and perseverance with which the troops fought.
A list of the killed, wounded, and missing will be forwarded immediately.*
Very respectfully submitted.
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
Captain E. C. BAIRD, Assistant Adjutant-General.
Numbers 252. Report of Major General William F. Smith, U. S. Army, commanding Sixth Army Corps.
HEADQUARTERS SIXTH ARMY CORPS, Camp near White Oak Church, Va., December 31, 1862.
I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the Sixth Corps with reference to the recent battle south of the Rappahannock River:
On Thursday, December 11, the corps marched from its camp toward
*Embodied in revised statement, p. 139.