and men of the left held their positions, while immediately on their left the line gave way. After taking command I held the ditch until relieved. I fell back 75 or 100 yards in the timber. The enemy then opened a heavy cannonading, at which time Lieutenant [C. N.] McGuire, of Company K, was killed. There were only nine companies of the regiment in the ditch, Company C having been sent to our front as pickets, of which Captain [A. T. W.] Alexander, commanding company, reports the following:
Company C was posted on the railroad as pickets on the right of the brigade, immediately in front of the artillery, with orders not to leave until notified. No such notification was made until the enemy was within range of our position, during which time I had 2 men wounded. I then moved down the railroad to the right, it being hazardous to move up the hill in front of our lines to rejoin our regiment. Meeting with officers of the brigade, I was assured that it had retired to the rear. I moved my command to the rear, but returned to the brigade as soon as I learned it was still holding its position.
This is all I have to submit as coming under my observation.
H. J. HAWKINS,
Captain, Commanding Regiment.
No. 318. Report of Colonel John F. Goodner, Seventh Tennessee Infantry.
NEAR FREDERICKSBURG, VA., December 17, 1862.
DEAR SIR: In the fight near Fredericksburg, on the 13th instant, with the Federal forces, my regiment [Seventh Tennessee], constituting a part of your command, was situated in the center of the brigade, and posted in a ditch along an old fence row. The enemy advanced in front of us through an open field, and when they came near enough for us to fire with effect, we did so. By this time the firing was general all along our line, and it was so galling on the enemy that it caused them to oblique rather to the right [our left] and bear into a skirt of woodland that projected into the field. We continued a left-oblique fire upon them until the most of them had passed by the left of our line, and were pouring in a galling fire from our left, raking it to the right. I saw the two regiments on my left give way, which exposed the left of my regiment to the whole force of the enemy engaged at that place. We had been loading and firing very rapidly for some time, and were about out of ammunition. Some of the men had still two or the rounds, but the most of them were entirely out. Consequently, under these circumstances, being opposed by vastly superior numbers, and out of ammunition, the left and a portion of the right of the regiment gave way, not until, however, the enemy had come up and demanded a surrender. Five of the men on the extreme left were captured, and the balance made their escape by a hasty retreat a short distance to the rear, where they were supplied with ammunition, and returned again immediately to the front lines ready to renew the conflict. I did not observe any misconduct in my regiment, either in the men or officers, but all seemed to act their parts well.
Yours, most respectfully,
JNO. F. GOODNER,
Colonel, Commanding Seventh Tennessee.
Brigadier General J. J. ARCHER,