On receipt of your order to rejoin the brigade, I moved forward, and took a position on the left of the brigade in the edge of the woods, then the first line, where were remainder until relived by the Second Brigade, when we fell back a few rods and formed the second line, where we lay during the remainder of the night.
After daylight, this line was replaced by a portion of General Sickles division, when we were again moved a short distance in the rear, as formed the third line.
After the enemy succeeded in carrying our position, we fell back with the rest to the brick house. The remained then so few of the regiment that I was ordered to the rear, to assist the provost-guard of the division.
My command was retained at the ford; assisted in crossing the troops during the night of the 5th instant, and on the morning of the 6th instant fell in rear of the First Division, and marched to this place, arriving at 7 p. m.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier General J. F. KNIPE,
Commanding First Brigadier, First Div., Twelfth Army Corps.
Numbers 265. Report of Captain Edward L. Witman, Forty-sixth Pennsylvania Infantry.
NEAR STAFFORD COURT-HOUSE, VA.,
May 7, 1863.
CAPTAIN: A report of the part taken by the Forty-sixth Regiment in the operations in the rear of Fredericksburg having been called for, I have the honor to make the following report:
On the morning of the 1st, we were ordered to move to the front and proceed along the Plank road toward Fredericksburg about 2 miles, when a line of battle was formed on the left of the road, the Forty-sixth, commanded by Major Strous, forming the center of the line. Companies K, and B were thrown forward as skirmishers, and the whole line advanced about half a mile, when the skirmishers were met by the skirmishers of the enemy, who at the same time opened fire upon our lines from a battery posted on a hill half a mile distant. We were ordered to lie down, and the shells passed over us, doing no damage. After lying in this position about an hour, we were ordered to fall back to our old camp.
On the morning of the 2nd, we were ordered to erect breastworks, and worked until 4 p. m., when we were ordered to move to the front. When about 1 1/2 miles from camp, we formed line of battle in rear of the Fifth Connecticut Regiment, which formed the first line, and advanced its skirmishers, soon bringing on a brisk engagements. The Forty-sixth did not fire, but had 1 lieutenant killed and 1 man wounded. We were then ordered to fall back, and did so in good order until within half a mile of our old position, when we were ordered to double-quick to our breastworks, which caused some confusion. We reached the works at dusk, but too late; found them in possession of the enemy, who captured the