War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0665 Chapter XXXIII. BATTLE OF FREDERICKSBURG, VA.

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and afterward securing several hundred stand of arms. He advanced his brigade to a fence some distance in front of the railroad, but perceiving his danger of being flanked by the enemy, who had brought up large, fresh columns, I sent an order to him to fall back to the original line, which order, however, he anticipated by retiring in good order, leaving two regiments and a battalion in the railroad, and occupying the trench on the crest of the hill with the two other regiments and the Thirteenth Georgia Regiment, which latter, having failed to accompany its brigade on account of a misapprehension of its colonel, had been ordered forward with Hoke's brigade, and got up in time to occupy the trench, but not to participate in the charge. Just as I had ordered Colonel Hoke forward, I received a message from Lieutenant-General Jackson to advance to the front with the whole division, and I thereupon ordered General Hays to advance in rear of Colonel Hoke with his brigade, which movement was promptly executed, the enemy, who had discontinued his artillery fire while his infantry was advancing on the hill, having reopened his batteries, so that this brigade was exposed to a galling fire while advancing. This brigade did not engage in the infantry fight, because by the time it reached the front line the enemy had been effectually repulsed.

The movements of the three brigades which were engaged are necessarily described separately, because they engaged three separate bodies of the enemy. They were, however, moved forward in rapid succession in the order stated, and were, in fact, all engaged at the same time, though commencing their several engagements at different times in the same order in which they advanced. The railroad makes a circle in passing from the right of our position around to the left, so that Lawton's brigade in passing to the front with Walker's and Hoke's, respectively, on the left and right of it, was thrown into the apex of an angle, and having the start of them both, it was necessarily thrown farther forward than either of the others when it crossed the railroad and advanced into the plain. This exposed its flanks, and hence it was that this brigade was compelled to fall back as before stated, which, however, it did not do until its commander, Colonel [E. N.] Atkinson, and Captain E. P. Lawton, the assistant adjutant-general, were both disabled by wounds and its ammunition was almost entirely exhausted. Seeing this brigade falling back, I halted it on the hill in the woods immediately in rear of the place at which it had first met the enemy, and caused it to be reformed under the command of Colonel C. A. Evans, of the Thirty-first Georgia Regiment; and fearing that the enemy might follow through the same interval with a fresh column, I sent to General D. H. Hill for re-enforcements, and he sent two brigades forward. Before, however, they arrived, Brigadier-General [E. F.] Paxton, of General [W. B.] Taliaferro's division, had filled the interval left open by the falling back of this brigade by promptly moving his own brigade into it. I then sent Lawton's brigade to the rear to replenish its ammunition.

Being posted at first in the second line, I did not have any immediate use for the batteries of the division, and therefore, after placing them under the charge of Captain Latimer, as stated, I requested Colonel Crutchfield, chief of artillery for the corps, to make such use of them as the emergencies of the day might require. In a short time he detached two batteries to a position on the left of General [A. P.] Hill's line; these were Captain Latimer's own battery and Captain [William D.] Brown's battery, both being under charge of Captain Latimer, who accompanied them. These batteries did not operate in my view, but I am informed that they did excellent service, Captain Latimer having repulsed the