right of the first line. As soon as it cleared up this morning, the shells from the enemy, which yesterday fell sparsely from the hill in front of Fredericksburg, to-day fell more numerously. Being directed at the batteries in our front, they struck generally near our position. The regiments obeyed the order to lie down very closely; particularly the Twenty-sixth New Jersey, a new regiment, which had 2 wounded by shells, kept its place very well.
About 1 p. m. 13th instant, another regiment being called for as picket, the Second Vermont, Lieutenant-Colonel Joyce commanding, was sent forward. The report of the commandant is herewith inclosed,* as well as that of the Third Vermont.* The last two named regiments, I am credibly informed, repelled an attack of superior numbers, which has produced a good effect on the whole brigade.
The Fifth Regiment, Colonel Grant, was on picket all day Sunday, the 14th, and was engaged with the enemy's pickets most of the day.
A report of the colonel is herewith inclosed.
Early on the 14th, the Second Brigade was ordered to occupy the first line. It cleared up very early this morning, so that a portion of the brigade had to take position under fire. Two of the Fourth and one of the Second were wounded. The brigade remained in this position till next morning, 5 o'clock, when it was relieved by General Newton's troops, and took their places near the river, which we recrossed that evening.
The lists of killed and wounded are as follows: Killed, 20; wounded, 121; missing, 2; total, 143.*
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Second Vermont Infantry, Commanding Second Brigade.
Captain THEODORE McGOWAN,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Howe's Division, Smith's Corps.
Numbers 259. Report of Brigadier General Thomas H. Neill, U. S. Army, commanding Third Brigade.
HEADQUARTERS THIRD BRIGADE, December 23, 1862.
SIR: In conformity with instructions from your headquarters, I have the honor to report that the Third Brigade crossed the Rappahannock with the division at about 9 a. m. the 12th instant, and formed on the left of the second line of battle, our left resting on the river, near the stone house occupied by Mr. Bernard. About noon we advanced with the line, and took a position near the road which runs parallel to the river. General Reynolds' corps formed upon our left and extended to the river.
In this position we laid on our arms until about daylight on the morning of the 13th instant, when we relieved the First Brigade of our division, which formed the first line. About 9 a. m. Brigadier-General Vinton was advancing the skirmishers, in order that the left of General Smith's skirmishers should keep on a line with General Reynolds' right, which was advancing, when he (General Vinton) was wounded by a minie ball, and had to leave the field. Colonel R. F. Taylor, Thirty-third
+But see revised statement, p. 141.