War of the Rebellion: Serial 039 Page 0574 N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXVII.

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the heights in front of Fredericksburg having been assaulted and carried, the brigade was ordered to fall in and march toward Fredericksburg, with the exception of four companies of the Second New Jersey Volunteers and the Fifteenth Regiment, the former relieving a portion of Russell's brigade on picket, the latter to cover the withdrawal of the entire picket line. This latter was accomplished without loss, the enemy withdrawing the same time we did. The brigade, with the exception of the Fifteenth Regiment and four companies of the Second Regiment, marched through Fredericksburg and out the Plank road about 3 miles toward Chancellorsville, where it then halted. Soon after, the Second New Jersey Volunteers were deployed as skirmishers in our front, the First, Third, and Twenty-third in line of battle 200 yards in rear.

The brigade was then ordered to advance, under fire of the enemy's skirmishers, until arriving near Tabernacle Church, when the skirmishers retired, and the brigade, taking the double-quick, charged the enemy in the following order: The Twenty-third New Jersey Volunteers on the left, and the First and Third on the right of the Plank road. Here the enemy was found strongly posted in a dense thicket, some 300 yards in depth, protected on the opposite side by earth works and rifle-pits. After a stubborn resistance for some time, the enemy were driven through the thicket and into the rifle-pits. Here our farther advance was checked, neither party gaining or losing ground. About this time, the Fifteenth New Jersey Volunteers and four companies of the Second, having learned the brigade was engaged, pushed rapidly forward toward the scene of action, on arriving near which the colonel commanding was ordered by General Sedgwick, commanding the corps, to take his regiment in on our extreme right, and, if possible, turn the enemy's left. The regiment moved forward immediately, in compliance with this order, and, when near the thicket, was met by Colonel Brown, commanding the brigade, and ordered to move to the left sufficiently to move up in rear of the Third Regiment, which was being sorely pressed. This order was complied with, relieving the Third, which retired.

Soon after this, the gallant Colonel Brown was wounded in the thigh, which obliged him to be carried from the-field. He then turned over the command temporarily to Colonel Penrose, senior officer present on the field. At this time the enemy heavily re-enforced their whole line. The Twenty-third, supported by the One hundred and Twenty-first New York (Barlett's brigade), on the left of the road, and the First, supported by a regiment of Russell's brigade, on the right of the road, were obliged to fall back. The right of the line held its ground until relieved just at dark, soon after which the action ceased. In the withdrawing of the First New Jersey Volunteers, they lost their gallant leader, Colonel M. W. Collet.

All the regiments behaved with the utmost gallantry, holding their ground against overwhelming odds, and, when retiring, contesting every inch of the same. In this short fight of only some two and a half hours' duration, the brigade lost heavily in both officers and men. The brigade bivouacked for the night on the battle-field, when Colonel S. L. Buck, of the Second New Jersey Volunteers, assumed command.

During the morning of the 4th instant, the regiments of the brigade were assigned to various positions in line of battle and supporting batteries, but were not engaged. At sundown, took up line of march for Banks' Ford. On reaching the bank of the river, occupied the rifle-pits abandoned by the enemy, where we remained until nearly daylight on the morning of the 5th instant, when we recrossed river. During this