on the heights in front of my right, I ordered the brigade to retire, and sent to General McLaws, requesting him to move. I return, I received information that Anderson's division was moving down, and that an attack was to be made at a given signal. Subsequently I was sent for by General Lee, and, having received his instructions, at the signal agreed on, Hays', Hoke's, and Gordon's brigades, which has been placed in position, were advanced against the enemy; Hays advancing in the center from the foot of the hill, opposite the mill on Hazel Run; Hoke, on the left, advancing across the hill on which Downman's house is situated and below it; and Gordon, on the right, up the hills on the north of the Plank road-all driving the enemy before them. This movement was commenced very late, and Hays' and Hoke's brigades were thrown into some confusion by coming in contact after they crossed the Plank road below Guest's house, and it becoming difficult to distinguish our troops from those of the enemy, on account of the growing darkness, they had, therefore, to fall back to reform, which was done on the plain below Guest's house. Gordon's brigade got in rear of the enemy's right flank near Taylor's house, and took its position there. Barksdale's brigade had been left at Marye's Hill, and Smith's in position on the left of it to strengthen Barksdale or re-enforce the others, as occasion might require, and two regiments were ordered up while Hays' and Hoke's were being reformed. After seeing General Lee, at night Hoke's brigade was placed in line of the left of Gordon, and Hays was ordered to take position in the intrenchments on the right of Marye's Hill, and Smith's regiments sent back to join the residue of the brigade on the left of that hill.
The loss in my division during all the time from the crossing was 136 killed, 838 wounded, and some 500 are reported missing, the greater part of whom are, in all probability, stragglers. This does not include the loss in Barksdale's brigade and the artillery.
J. A. EARLY,
Major W. H. TAYLOR,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Army Northern Virginia.
HEADQUARTERS EARLY'S DIVISION, May 16, 1863.
MAJOR: No flags were captured by the troops of this division in the recent battles around Fredericksburg.
The colors of the Fifty-eighth Virginia Regiment were lost. In regard to the circumstances under which they were lost, Colonel F. H. Board, commanding the regiment, says:
In accordance with orders from corps headquarters to account for the loss of the battle-flag of my regiment on the 4th of the present month, I will state that Smith's brigade was in line of battle parallel to the Plank road, and the heights to the left of Marye's, and on the side of the road next to the river. My regiment was on the right, occupying the pinnacle of the hill. The enemy's skirmishers were upon the heights opposite us, a distance of 800 or 1,000 yards. One regiment of the brigade (Thirteenth Virginia) was sent forward, and attacked the enemy in front of my regiment. After considerable skirmishing between it and the enemy, the remainder of the brigade was ordered forward, the other regiments obliquing to the left until there was a distance of several hundred yards intervening between the left of my regiment and the right of that regiment on my left. I was ordered directly forward, as I supposed, to support the Thirteenth Virginia, which was skirmishing in my front, passing over the distance already spoken of under a heavy fire of skirmishers and shelling,