HEADQUARTERS THIRD BRIGADE, - -, 1862.
One of the returned prisoners from the Twenty-first Regiment- Private T. P.] Lamkin, Company F-informs me that one only of the Florida companies was captured by the enemy: Captain William Baya, Company D; Lieutenant [H. C.] Simmons, Company F, and about 20 men. They all returned, via Fortress Monroe, with Private Lamkin, except 6, who were paroled to remain North.
BENJ. G. HUMPHREYS,
Colonel, Commanding Third Brigade.
No. 285. Report of Lieutenant Colonel William H. Luse, Eighteenth Mississippi Infantry.
CAMP, BARKSDALE'S BRIGADE, Near Fredericksburg, December 19, 1862.
SIR: It becomes my duty to report to you the action of the Eighteenth Mississippi Regiment in the late battle of Fredericksburg.
The night of the 10th instant, the regiment picketed the river for about half a mile above and a quarter below the mouth of Deep Run, that portion of the regiment not on post being encamped at Mrs. Ferneybough's house, on the river road. About midnight, I received orders from you to double my pickets, which was immediately done. Between this time and daylight, I receive information from my pickets that the enemy were preparing to throw a pontoon bridge across the river opposite the lower post, above the mouth of Deep Run. You, being present at the time, ordered me to send three companies to support Captain Govan, of the Seventeenth Mississippi Regiment, above, and to take the rest of my command to the river to guard the point at which it was reported the enemy were constructing the bridge opposite my line. This was done at once. I went myself to examine the movements of the enemy, and heard them throw in the first boat about half an hour before day. Judging them to be within easy range of the mouth of Deep Run, I lined the banks with sharpshooters, in addition to the pickets. Their boats were thrown in with great rapidity from this time until daylight, when I discovered that the boats had been floated down the river several hundred yards, making the place of crossing below and out of range from Deep Run. I immediately ordered my two companies of sharpshooters down to the crossing to open fire on the enemy simultaneously with the pickets in their front, and moved up with the rest of the regiment, getting in position and removing a paling fence just as the fire was opened in front. The enemy were driven from the bridge, and their supports on the opposite side of the river broke ranks and were with difficulty rallied. Having accomplished this, pickets were posted near enough to watch the further movement of the enemy, with two companies concealed very near the crossing to resist any further work on the bridge, or attempt to cross it, and one company remaining on the upper side of Deep Run by your order. The remaining four companies of the regiment I placed in the ravine in front of the crossing, posting one where the river road crossed Deep Run, to guard the point against any sudden move of the enemy.