a. m. there was a general advance of the lines, and this brigade occupied a crest extending from a deep ravine to the left. We remained in this position until the morning of the 13th, when we took the second line, about 100 yards in rear of the first. In this position we remained until the morning of the 15th, when, relieved by a brigade from the Third Division, we marched back to the river, to a point opposite the bridges.
During the 12th and 13th, heavy skirmishing was continually going on in front of our line, and during almost the entire day of the 13th my command was under an incessant fire from the enemy's batteries, which the troops withstood with heroic indifference.
I have heretofore sent forward a list of casualties, which shows the exact loss sustained by my command.
On the evening of the 15th, we received orders to recross the river, and I was required to report in person to headquarters left grand division, and was afterward ordered to direct the crossing of the troops at the lower bridges.
The officers and men of this brigade, without exception, displayed the utmost steadiness and the best of discipline during the whole affair. To my staff officers, Captain Keith, Lieutenants King and Totten, and acting aides, Lieutenants White and Furlong, I am under obligations for the gallant and efficient manner in which they performed their duties. They were all under fire, more or less, during the 12th, 13th, and 14th, and at the recrossing of the troops on the 15th. The services of Lieutenant King were invaluable.
The troops of my command are now in as a good condition as on the day previous to crossing the Rappahannock.
I am, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. E. PRATT,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding.
Captain THEODORE McGOWAN,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Division.
Numbers 258. Report of Colonel Henry Whiting, Second Vermont Infantry, commanding Second Brigade.
[DECEMBER --, 1862.]
SIR: The Second Brigade crossed the Rappahannock Friday morning, December 12, 1862, and was formed in double columns, as a third line, in the rear of the first ridge after ascending the bluff. The Sixth Regiment was, by direction of General Howe, detached to the front as skirmishers, under Colonel N. Lord. A report of the proceedings of that regiment, by its present commandant, is herewith inclosed.
Toward evening another regiment was called for by General Howe for picket duty. The Fourth Regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Foster, Fourth Vermont Infantry, was detailed for that purpose. A report of Colonel C. B. Stoughton, now in command of the regiment, is herewith inclosed. This regiment had a good deal of fighting, and acquitted itself exceedingly well.
About 6 a. m. the 13th instant, General Howe directed me to send one regiment to a point on the right of the first line, and another to a point on the right of the second line. The Third and Fifth Vermont were detached for that purpose, but at daylight I found them both on the