War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0567 Chapter XXXIII. BATTLE OF FREDERICKSBURG, VA.

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traversed the entire front between the left and right of General Jackson's corps without meeting that commander, who had ridden, he was told, with the commanding general, the undersigned consulted other generals there in command respecting positions to be occupied-especially General Stuart, whom he met at the defenses on the hill near where the railroad emerges from the wood about Hamilton's Crossing. Having thus learned the localities in that quarter, he rode, with Major Pelham and Captain Lane, to select the best positions for Lane's guns. Thus the morning passed, and the expected advance of the enemy remained unattempted. There was no serious movement, nor anything except distant and desultory firing. Nothing being likely to transpire, and all arrangements being made, the undersigned returned to the center, and learned that the other large Parrott had burst at about the fifty-fourth discharge, providentially again doing no damage.

Tuesday (16th), calling early at general headquarters, the undersigned learned that information had been brought of some mysterious movement of the enemy, and, hastening to the front, he saw, with astonishment, their immense trains and vast masses collected on the opposite side of the river. Under cover of night, they monstrous assailing host had stolen away to escape destruction. Nothing remained but to watch the discomfited multitude, and disturb their movements by an occasional shot from a long-range gun. A few of their most powerful pieces responded from time to time with shells well directed toward our post of observation, but doing no harm whatever. The contest was over, and the campaign virtually closed.

In the eventful conflict thus terminated, all the batteries of the general reserve, as well as those of the two army corps, were posted on the lines, and, though not called by the enemy's mode of attack to bear the brunt of close and concentrated action, they were all, more or less, and some quite severely, under fire.

Lane's and Ross', as of best guns, were most in requisition, and rendered most service. Milledge's was useful on the river, and with Major Pelham in his successful dash upon the enemy when menacing our right flank. Patterson's, with a section of Ross', under Major T. Jefferson Page [jr.], shared the defense of General Hood's front. Kirkpatrick's and Massie's, under Major Nelson, rendered more secure the defenses of Marye's Hill and the heights occupied by the large guns, and received a full share of the missiles hurled at the latter. No serious casualty was experienced among them.

Officers and men all behaved well, and were ready, promptly and patiently, to discharge whatever duty might be presented.

Captains Nelson and Barnwell, and under them the two lieutenants and men of Ells' battery at the large Parrotts, well performed their part; and the several members of my staff are entitled to honorable mention for the zeal, energy, and fortitude with which they passed through much danger, and performed by night and by day much labor.

In conclusion, the undersigned would record, as right and proper, an expression of gratitude for the Divine guidance and guardianship under which these duties were discharged, and especially that so much was achieved by the army and its leaders with so little to regret, and a loss of valuable life so much less than usual to lament.

He has the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General and Chief of Artillery.

General R. E. LEE, Commanding.