War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0579 Chapter XXXIII. BATTLE OF FREDERICKSBURG, VA.

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for the time and opened a terrific fire from their numerous batteries concentrated along the hills just above the river. The fire was so severe that the men could not use their rifles, and the different places occupied by the becoming untenable, the troops were withdrawn from the river bank back to Caroline street at 4.30 p. m. The enemy then crossed in boats, and, completing their bridges, passed over in force and advanced into the town. The Seventeenth Mississippi, Colonel [John C.] Fiser, and 10 sharpshooters from Colonel [J. W.] Carter's regiment (the Thirteenth), and three companies of the Eighteenth Mississippi Regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel [William H.] Luse, under Lieutenant [William] Ratliff, were all the troops that were actually engaged in defending the crossings in front of the city. More troops were offered, but the position were such that but the number already there could be employed. As the enemy advanced into the town our troops fell back to Princess Anne street, and as the enemy came up they were driven back, with loss. This street fighting continued until 7 p. m., when I ordered General Barksdale to fall back and take position along and behind the stone wall below Marye's Hill, where it was relieved by the brigade of Brigadier General Thomas R. R. Cobb and retired to their position-on the right of my line of defense, in the woods of Mr. Bernard. Lieutenant-Colonel Luse, with his regiment (the Eighteenth Mississippi), who occupied the river bank below the town, drove back the enemy in their first attempt to cross the river, and kept them in check until about 3.30 p. m., when two regiments (the Sixteenth Georgia, Colonel [Goode] Bryan, and Fifteenth South Carolina, Colonel [W. D.] De Saussure) were sent to his support. It was then deemed advisable and the whole force was withdrawn to the river road, where they remained until daylight the next day, when they rejoined their brigades, excepting the Sixteenth Georgia, which retook its position in the general line of defense. These regiments performed their duties under a sever and destructive fire from the enemy's guns posted along the hills just above the river on the opposite side.

Early on the morning of the 11th, a battalion of the Eighth Florida Regiment, numbering about 150 men, was put in position to the left of Colonel Fiser and in easy range of the enemy above the upper bridge, then being rapidly constructed by them. This battalion was commanded by Captain [David] Lang, and while under his direction it acted gallantly and did good service. Captain Long proved himself a gallant and efficient officer, but he was severely wounded about 11 a. m., and the battalion then rendered but little assistance. I call your attention to the special report of Lieutenant-Colonel Fiser on the subject, and to that of Captain [A. R.] Govan in relation to the conduct of three companies of the same regiment, which were on duty with the right of Colonel Fiser's regiment, and also to the indorsement of Colonel Humphreys on the special report of Captain Govan.*

The brigade of General Barksdale, I consider, did their whole duty, and in a manner highly creditable to every officer and man engaged in the fight. An examination of the positions they held shows that no troops could have behaved more gallantly.

On the right of the 11th, the Eighteenth and Twenty-fourth Georgia Regiments and Phillips' Georgia Legion, of Cobb's brigade, relieved General Barksdale's command, behind the stone wall, at the foot of Marye's Hill, Phillips' Legion on the left, the Twenty-fourth Georgia in the center, and Eighteenth Georgia Regiment on the right, occupying


*See p. 604.