By 1 p.m. General Kershaw had put the whole of his brigade in the road and sent me word he could hold it. I was satisfied no further attempt would be made by the enemy before daylight, and withdrew my division 200 yards and permitted it to rest. At this time of night I received orders to send a battery of long-range guns to Major [John J.] Garnett. The three guns of Cooper's at Howison's house were sent, and they replaced by a like number from Branch's battery.
Until about 4 p.m.on the 13th, the Washington Artillery had served in the batteries, when it was relieved by Colonel Alexander's battalion, and during the night I replaced five of his guns with 12-pounder howitzers from my batteries. During the day only three of my guns were in action, and those were at the Howison house. I am informed by the report of the captain that they did good service both in the direction of Fredericksburg and more to the right.
On the 14th, little of moment occurred. The enemy annoyed us by an unceasing fire from sharpshooters, but did little injury. Early on that night I was directed to return Kemper's brigade to General Pickett. It was replaced by my own. Before daylight orders came to relieve Jenkins' brigade, on the right of the Telegraph road, which I had done with my own, and the latter was replaced by Cooke's and one regiment from Featherston's, which was immediately on my left.
Late in the afternoon of the 15th, large numbers of infantry were seen collecting in the town, and the sharpshooters again began to be troublesome. Colonel Alexander and Lieutenant [Captain J. R.] Branch-the latter having charge of a 12-pounder howitzer and a Napoleon which Colonel Alexander had sent me-by a few well-directed shell dispersed the infantry in the town and dislodged the sharpshooters.
About daylight on the morning of the 16th, Brigadier-General Jenkins, with his brigade, reported to me and relieved Cooke's.
Too high commendation cannot be bestowed upon the troops under my command and those of the other corps who came under my observation, and I trust it will not be out of place to mention some at least of the latter. The unwavering firmness evinced throughout by all raises them to the highest pitch of admiration. The field, on the 13th, presented the unprecedented spectacle of a fierce battle raging, and not a straggler from the ranks.
Brigadier-General Cooke was wounded early in the action, but handled his troops well. Brigadier-General Kemper came upon the field late, but in the handsomest style, under a galling fire, moved his command into position with the greatest alacrity and steadiness, and during this time lost a few killed and quite a number wounded.
While I do not disparage any, I cannot fail to mention the splendid and dashing action of the Twenty-fifth North Carolina Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel [Samuel C.] Bryson commanding, in going into battle, though, as part of my command, I will not pass over the already famous Washington Artillery. Its gallantry and efficiency are above praise. Colonel Alexander, of the artillery, brought in his battalion admirably and relieved the Washington Artillery under a hot fire. I regret that I could not witness the part taken by the long-range guns of my batteries, but from the commander' reports they did good service, both in the direction of Fredericksburg, and more to the right of our lines. Lieutenant [Captain J. R.] Branch, in charge of the two pieces above mentioned, handled them beautifully.
Lieutenant and Adjutant [Oliver D.] Cooke, Twenty-fourth North Carolina Volunteers, was severely wounded. I have before witnessed his conduct, and no one more richly merits promotion.