The companies thus stationed remained in the position above described until about noon, when two regiments came to re-enforce me, one forming on my right, the other on my left. The ground which three of my companies occupied being embraced in the positions of the above-mentioned regiments, I brought them in, and remained in position to resist the crossing or advance of the enemy until 3.30 p.m., when Colonel De Saussure, commanding the re-enforcements sent me, communicated to me an order from General Kershaw to fall back to the river road, about 150 yards to our rear, leaving one company [C, Captain [B. F.] Cassell's] in the ravine, with instructions to fire on the enemy as he advanced. This order was executed. The enemy crossed in our front between sundown and dark, and, advancing his skirmishers, encountered Captain Cassell's company, who fired on them, and retired, in obedience to their instructions.
It is but just to state that all the above movements after daylight were performed under a destructive fire of the numerous guns of the enemy posted on the opposite side of the river, and that all the dangerous duties assigned them were performed by officers and men with the steadiness of veterans.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. H. LUSE,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Eighteenth Mississippi Regiment.
No. 286. Report of Colonel Benjamin G. Humphreys, Twenty-first Mississippi Infantry.
DECEMBER 17, 1862.
GENERAL: As soon as the signal guns on the morning of the 11th instant announced the advance of the enemy, I moved the Twenty-first Regiment from camp, and arrived at the market-house in Fredericksburg at day dawn, when, in obedience to your order, I detached the right wing, under Major [D. N.] Moody, to go to the support of Captain Govan, of the Seventeenth Regiment, who was guarding the wharf on the Rappahannock and then engaged with the enemy. I saw no more of that portion of the regiment during the day, and respectfully refer you to Major Moody's report of his operations.
The left wing I held in reserve at the market-house, with instructions to support Lieutenant-Colonel Fiser, of the Seventeenth Regiment, at the upper pontoon constructed by the enemy, or Captain Govan, it needed. About 1 o'clock I was ordered to a mistake of my guide as to the position of [Lieutenant]-Colonel Fiser, I was conducted several hundred yards above, in a very exposed position, from which the enemy forced me to retire by a heavy fire from their artillery. I returned to the market-house and received orders to advance to the river and resist any advance of the enemy, who had then succeeded in forcing a passage of the river, and were engaged with Lieutenant-Colonel Fiser and Colonel Carter, of the Thirteenth Regiment. I detached Captain [J. W.] Renfroe with his company to the foot of William street, and Captain [R. C.] Green with his company to the foot of the street leading from Episcopal Church, and placed Captains [Isaac D.] Stamps, [John] Sims, and [Tully S.] Gibson with their companies on Main street. By this time it was