War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0682 OPERATIONS IN N.VA.,W.VA., MD.,AND PA., Chapter XXXIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

A. P. Hill's division, in the woods west of the railroad and to the right of the road leading from Hamilton's Crossing in the direction of Telegraph road. The regiment several times changed position during the afternoon, and rested for the night by their guns a little in rear of the summit in these woods, the Fourth Regiment during the day occupying the left of the brigade.

Early next morning, the 13th instant, the evidence of the approaching conflict was heard in brisk skirmishing and cannonading, the enemy's shot and shell passing and frequently bursting near the Fourth Regiment, but doing no damage. Toward noon the regiment was retired a few hundred forward by the front. Early in this movement, Lieutenant-Colonel [R. D.] Gardner was severely wounded in the face by a fragment of shell while gallantly leading his regiment, and carried from the field. As the next in rank, I assumed command. The regiment continued to move forward in direction of the heavy infantry firing in front until we passed the crest of the hill, when we moved by the right flank along and crossing the military road. Here the Fourth [Virginia] Regiment was ordered to take position on the extreme right of the brigade, which was promptly done and again formed in line of battle. During this time we were exposed to a galling fire of shot and shell, which wounded several of my men. The engagement still progressing, we were again ordered forward along the military road, and took a position then unoccupied by any troops, some 100 yards to the west of and parallel to the railroad. I threw out skirmishers in front of the regiment, who kept up a brisk fire with the enemy's skirmishers until dark, killing and wounding several of them. We remained here until after night, when I was ordered to follow the Twenty-seventh Regiment. We moved a short distance to the rear along the military road, by which we had advanced, and lay down for the night by the roadside.

At 3 a.m. 14th instant, we were aroused, moved a few hundred yards through the woods in direction of Fredericksburg, and were placed in position behind the embankment of the railroad, the Second Virginia Regiment resting upon a skirt of woods which crossed the railroad and the Fourth Regiment on the left of the Second. We remained in this position during Sunday, the 14th instant, hourly expecting a general advance of the enemy; but the day passed without any incident worthy of notice beyond the skirmishing between the sharpshooters on both sides, I, however, restrained the Fourth Regiment and permitted no firing, and thus protected my men from any loss.

At down on Monday morning, the 15th instant, my regiment was relieved from duty on the advance post, and retired with the brigade about 1 mile to the rear in the woods, where we remained till Tuesday morning, from which place we marched to our present encampment in Caroline County.

Of the conduct of officers and men, from Lieutenant-Colonel Gardner down, it affords me great pleasure to speak in the highest terms of commendation. For coolness and steadiness under a trying fire of artillery, I never saw their conduct surpassed. And while they were ready to meet its danger and to do their duty. And I avail myself of this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to the officers and men for their cheerful, prompt, and ready obedience to orders under every circumstance; and where all have behaved so well, I should do injustice did I attempt to bestow marked distinction upon any