marched with the brigade nearly to the bank of the Rappahannock, bivouacking for the night in a ravine concealed from the view of the enemy. Wednesday morning, soon after daylight, the regiment, accompanying the brigade, wound down the road nearest the river, a little above and opposite the ruins of the Bernard house.
We lay here Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and a part of Saturday. Saturday morning, we were detailed on picket duty below the lower pontoon bridge; the Sixty-second New York and the Eighty-second Pennsylvania being also under my command. Just before dusk of that day (the rebel pickets across the river having been withdrawn in the most hasty and precipitate manner), by order of General Wheaton, then commanding division, our pickets were withdrawn, and the regiments joined their brigades, this regiment crossing the bridge abut 9.30 p. m., May 2.
Resting on the banks of the river till near midnight, we marched to Fredericksburg, halting for some time on the outskirts of the town. Resting in the streets of the town till about 11 a. m., Sunday, May 3, General Newton sent for me, and ordered me to report to General Gibbon, on the extreme right, where the regiment was assigned the duty of supporting Battery B, First Rhode Island Light Artillery, which was playing on the heights above the town. Battery G, same regiment, soon came into battery on the left of Battery B, and we supported that also.
The heights having been carried, we were ordered to join in the pursuit, and we supported a regiment of General Gibbon's division in carrying a height on the extreme right. When the rebels fled from that hill, we were ordered by Captain Smith, of General Newton's staff, to join our brigade, which we reached about 1 p. m. In this affair, which is known as the Second Battle of Fredericksburg, we had 2 men slightly wounded, but as it did not take them off duty, they have not been reported. Halting on the right of the Plank road leading to Chancellorsville, the rest of the brigade being on the left, we rested here till about 3 p. m., when we advanced 3 or 4 miles up the road, frequently halting, and being shelled much of the way. Resting on the right of the road some fifteen minutes after the fight had become general, we were ordered to form line of battle on both sides of the road, facing toward the enemy. Before this order could be executed, General Newton rode down the road, and inquired what regiment we were; answering him, he said, "Colonel, form here, and go to the right of that house, close to the woods," pointing to the one used as a hospital, and be which we lay Sunday night, on the extreme right; "we are being badly driven; hurry up and help them." Advancing across the wide open field, at an angle so as to clear the house, we came up just behind it in good order, on the right of the Tenth Massachusetts. At this point a regiment broke, through us, utterly panic stricken, throwing our line into slight disorder, the three left companies swinging up to the left of the house and opening fire toward the left; the seven right companies advanced down the hill at angles with the line, so that the left rested on the right of the house, and the right on obliquely down the hill. As my right could not see the rebels, owing to the low ground, and seeing some of our uniforms on the hill to the right of the house and in front of it, I pushed the regiment over a brook and up on to the next hill, forming on the left of a part of the Fifteenth New Jersey, the regiment on their left having broken and run. Opening fire here, I sent back for the three left companies, and also to caution all to fire to the left and not to the right. At our advance the enemy retreated obliquely down the hill to the left, having been flanked by us, as the portion of the Fifteenth