War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0526 OPERATIONS IN N. VA.,W. VA.,MD.,AND PA. Chapter XXXIII.

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its part of the duties with efficiency and success. When it is remembered that all this has been accomplished without organization, it is manifest that with it, no artillery in the world would be its superior.

I inclose copies of the reports of the different battery commanders, giving in detail their expenditures, losses, &c.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. B. AYRES,

Captain Fifth Artillery, Acting Chief of Artillery, Sixth Corps.

ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL, SIXTH CORPS.

Numbers 254. Report of Brigadier General W. T. H. Brooks, U. S. Army, commanding First Division.

HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, SIXTH ARMY CORPS, December 23, 1862.

SIR: I respectfully report the operations of this division in the battle of Fredericksburg.

On the 11th instant, the division left its camp, east of White Oak Church, and marched to the bank of the Rappahannock, where the bridges were being thrown across the river. The division was designated as the reserve of the corps. This was somewhat changed in the evening. As the corps was about to cross the river, the division was ordered to cross at the lower bridge simultaneously with General Newton's at the upper. Two regiments of Cake's brigade (the Twenty-seventh and One hundred and twenty-first New York) were crossed over, when orders were received for their return. The division bivouacked on the north side of the river.

At daylight on the 12th, the division crossed the river and took position in front of Newton's, relieving his skirmishers. The division was formed in three lines: First line, Colonel Russell's brigade; second line, Colonel Cake's; third line, Colonel Torbert's. The lines were gradually advanced until the first line was beyond Deep Creek. The second was in the old Richmond road; the third in the valley of Deep Creek. These positions were maintained throughout the time the division was south of the river, each brigade alternating daily in furnishing picket line and supports.

On Saturday an effort was made to extend the picket line on the left of the railroad, running to our front. The right of the line rested on the road. For this purpose, Colonel Torbert was ordered to move forward the picket line, supported by one or two regiments. The line and its support advanced handsomely, and drove the enemy beyond the road. The object sought for being attained, the supports of the picket line were ordered to return to their first position. The enemy, in the mean time heavily re-enforced, advanced to recover his lost ground. Torbert in withdrawing his regiments me with severe loss.

In the details of this gallant affair, I beg to refer you to Colonel Torbert's report, herewith inclosed. It gives me pleasure to concur in his estimate of the services of his troops, and to call attention to the officers referred to by him. Although not directly engaged with the enemy, the troops of the other two brigades of the division were exposed for four days to much shelling from the enemy's batteries that were located on