Grimes' brigade occupied the extreme right of our front line on the night of the 13th, and held the same position for the next two days. This brigade also furnished 100 sharpshooters to support Stuart, and these were constantly skirmishing with the Yankees during the 14th and 15th. Colonel [John B.] Estes, with his regiment [Forty-fourth Georgia, Doles' brigade], was also sent to support Stuart on the night of the 13th, and remained with him until the 15th. These advance troops, together with the skirmishers thrown out from each brigade, when on the advance line, were the only portions of my division actively engaged with Yankees. My division relieved Generals Early and Taliaferro before day on the 15th, and remained all day in the advance. Major [H. P.] Jones' battalion, of my division artillery, was placed on our left flank.
The Yankees were unusually placid on the 15th. The only firing worthy of notice was from some dozen or twenty pieces from the other side of the river attempting to dislodge Hardaway from his enfilading position. He, however, lay quietly on his straw-rick looking at them with his glass, and only firing when he could make his shot tell.
As the day wore away of the 15th without a fight, the division, with the exception of the advance detachments, not having drawn trigger, applied to Lieutenant-General Jackson to remain one day longer on the front line. This request was granted. At daylight our pickets were thrown forward and the enemy found to be gone. Burnside had changed his base.
We captured 292 of the Yankee pickets and stragglers, and gathered up between 3,000 and 4,000 excellent rifles and muskets.
I regret to add that, although none of my troops drew trigger, with the exceptions above made, we had 173 casualties in the division,* nearly all from the artillery fire of the Yankees.
My thanks are due to all my staff for faithful and efficient services. Major J. W. Ratchford and Major Archer Anderson, assistant adjutants-general; Major [H. P.] Jones, commanding battalion of artillery; Captain Carter, chief of artillery; Captain M. L. Randolph, signal officer; Lieutenant R. H. Morrison, aide-de-camp; Lieutenant E. F. Breward, volunteer aide; Lieutenants [W. A.] Harris and [C. P.] Estille, ordnance officers; Mr. Arthur Chichester, engineer officer; Sergeant Harmeling, commanding the couriers, all rendered valuable and important service.
I cannot speak too highly of the steadiness of my men under fire; their confidence of victory, and eagerness to lend their efforts to achieve it; their patient endurance of a fatiguing march the night before the battle, and their general subordination and good conduct. Under tried veterans as brigade commanders Rodes, Colquitt, Iverson, Doles, and Grimes, I feel confident that they will do well whenever called upon to meet the internal Yankees.
In no battle of the war has the signal interposition of God in our favor been more wonderfully displayed than at Fredericksburg, and it is to be earnestly hoped that our gratitude will correspond in some degree with his favor.
D. H. Hill,
Captain A. S. PENDLETON,
*See Report No. 265,pp.560, 561.