War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0535 Chapter XXXIII. BATTLE OF FREDERICKSBURG, VA.

Search Civil War Official Records

wounded upon them. Immediately after crossing, all of my division, except Devens' brigade, was ordered to recross the river. I held General Cochrane's brigade during the night close to the river bank, ready to go to the assistance of General Devens, if necessary.

On Friday, the 12th, the rest of the left grand division crossed the river, the remainder of my division leading the way. Nothing occurred of note this day, except Colonel (now Brigadier General) T. H. Neill's regiment, the Twenty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers, being ordered to the left of the line, which was found to be occupied by the enemy's skirmishers, whom they steadily pushed back, and held the position until it was occupied and extended by General Reynolds' corps, and a partial shelling of my command by the enemy's batteries. My division was now in reserve.

On Saturday, the 13th, the general attack upon the enemy having been made, my division in the afternoon was ordered to the left of the line, to report to General Reynolds as a re-enforcement. I reported to that officer, and posted my division in three lines, behind General Berry's brigade (Birney's division) to sustain him. This position I held after dark, until ordered to encamp near corps headquarters by Major-General Smith. During this day the division was severely shelled by the enemy.

On Sunday, the 14th, the divisions was ordered to its old position, in reserve, nothing of note occurring.

On Monday, the 15th, the division was ordered to relieve that of General Howe, in the front line. Nothing of note occurred this day, except the opening of batteries in position upon one of the enemy's, directly in front, for a short time. At night the passage back of our troops across the river was effected in order and without the knowledge of the enemy. General Devens, at his own request, had the privilege of commanding the rear guard, consisting of four regiments of his own brigade and two regiments of the First (New Jersey) Brigade, of Brooks' division, under Colonel Torbert.

My obligations are due to all according to their opportunities, but especially to Brigadier General Charles Devens, who commanded the advance and rear guard in the crossing and recrossing of the river; to Colonel (now Brigadier-General) Wheaton, who led the skirmishers at the passage of the river, and to Colonel Shaler, Sixty-fifth New York Volunteers, who had command of the pickets during the night of the evacuation. Lieutenant Butler's battery (G), Second U. S. Artillery, was posted in front from the passage of the river until the evacuation. This battery was hotly engaged on Saturday; met with severe loss, and did gallant and effective service.

The casualties amount to 53 killed and wounded.* The division was never seriously engaged, but manifested a becoming readiness for action, and great fortitude and steadiness under the shelling of the enemy.

My staff, Lieutenant William Russell, jr., acting assistant adjutant-general; Captain Ulshoeffer, Thirty-sixth New York Volunteers, acting aide-de-camp; Second Lieutenant H. W. Jackson, Fourth New York Volunteers, aide-de-camp, and Lieutenant Charles Eccleston, acting aide-de-camp, were very efficient. Doctor Holman, the medical director of the division, was very efficient in the care of the sick and wounded.

I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN NEWTON,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Major CHARLES MUNDEE,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Hdqrs. Sixth Army Corps.

---------------

*But see revised statement, p. 142.

---------------