War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0597 Chapter XXXIII. BATTLE OF FREDERICKSBURG, VA.

Search Civil War Official Records

Numbers 278. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Elbert Bland, Seventh South Carolina Infantry.

CAMP NEAR FREDERICKSBURG, VA., December 19, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report that upon hearing the signal guns on the morning of the 11th instant, I formed my regiment about 4 o'clock and marched to the position assigned me in line, on the hill to the right of the Telegraph road, and left of Captain [J. P. W.] Read's battery. I deployed forward the flank companies 150 yards to a ditch in rear of a field, upon the edge of the open plain. This position we occupied during the bombardment of the city and crossing the river by the enemy.

At 7 p. m. on the 12th, I received orders to occupy with the regiment the ground held by our line of skirmishers and open rifle-pits during the night, advancing my skirmishers in the open field in front. The rifle-pits were finished and occupied by 8 a. m. of the 13th (Saturday). About 10 a. m. the enemy advanced and attacked the position held by General Cobb's brigade, of which engagement we were quiet spectators until 1 p. m., when I received orders, with the other regiments of the brigade, to re-enforce General Cobb. I moved by the left flank in rear of the Third South Carolina Regiment down the Telegraph road for 150 yards, then filled to the left across Hazel Run, up the bluff in rear of Colonel Walton's battery to the hill in rear of Marye's house, where I met Lieutenant Doby, of General Kershaw's staff, who ordered me to form the regiment in rear of Colonel Nance's Third South Carolina, which was on the left and upon a line with the Marye house. Immediately after I formed line the Fifteenth South Carolina filed in my rear. At this point I lost several officers and men, wounded by fragments of shell, among them Captains [Benjamin] Roper and [T. A.] Hudgens and Lieutenant [J. C.] Lovelace. In about three-quarters of an hour I was called upon by the commanding officer of the Fifteenth North Carolina Regiment to re-enforce him. I at once moved by the right flank into his position, which was to the right and front of my Marye house, my three left companies being in front of the house. The position was a good one, with the crest of the hill just in our front, at which point it descended rapidly toward the enemy. About 70 yards below and in front of us was the Telegraph road, with a stone wall or fence on the enemy's side, behind which rested three regiments of Cobb's brigade and the Second and Eighth South Carolina Regiments, the two latter having just re-enforced them. The knoll in my front rendered it impossible for us to injure our friends, but placed us in fine range of the enemy. We would load and advance to fire, then drop back to reload. My right flank was exposed by a slight depression in the hill to an oblique fire from the enemy, which was taken advantage of; hence the greater loss in the right wing. We continued in the engagement until night, when the final charge was made and the enemy repulsed.

My officers and men behaved as become South Carolinians and soldiers of Kershaw's brigade. I received valuable assistance from Major J. S. Hard and Adjutant [J. R.] Carwile, of this regiment, and Lieutenant Doby, of General Kershaw's staff, whose gallant conduct cannot be too highly spoken of.

After night I relieved, by order, Phillips' Legion, of General Cobb's brigade, which was behind the stone fence before mentioned in my late front. We held this position with the wings doubled, occasionally exchanging shots with the enemy, until Tuesday morning (16th), when I