War of the Rebellion: Serial 107 Page 0173 Chapter LXIII. BATTLE OF FREDERICKSBURG, VA.

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made on the enemy's line near this part of the field after the withdrawal of this division. About 3 a. m. on the 14th, by direction of General Reynolds, I marched the division to the left to support General Doubleday's division, where the division remained until the evening of the 15th, when, by direction of General Reynolds, I recrossed the river with the division, leaving 300 pickets on their posts, who all rejoined the command before daylight next morning. The loss of the division, as I stated to you in a short note a day or two since, was 1,249.* The foregoing, as near as I can recollect, comprehends about the substance, if not the details, of what took place subsequent to the time you left. I give you this information to enable you to complete the report of the division, which I think you may do with propriety. However, if you think differently and desire it, I will take up the subject where you leave off, but would much prefer that you would complete it yourself.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

NELSON TAYLOR,

Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

Brigadier General JOHN GIBBON, &c.

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Report of Colonel Henry L. Benning, Seventeenth Georgia Infantry, commanding Toombs' brigade.

HEADQUARTERS TOOMBS' BRIGADE,

December 20, 1862.

MAJOR: I have the honor to report to you that the part taken in the action of the 13th instant by Toombs' brigade was slight. The brigade occupied a position near the center of the second general line of battle. The enemy never approached near enough to that line to draw its fire. Still, the brigade was near enough to his batteries to suffer some casualties from the artillery fire directed at our batteries or other troops in its front and on its flanks. A list of these casualties I send you.+ The brigade displayed the most commendable activity and energy in strengthening its position the resist attack. In a single night with eight spades, six or eight picks, and a very few axes, it rendered its position impregnable to small-arms, and to every kind of attack, except one by artillery, conducted on the principles of a regular siege. On the day of the battle it was without any of these artificial defenses, hence the casualties it sustained. Shells were bursting on its line, especially that part of the line occupied by the Fifteenth and Twentieth Georgia, every few minutes during the whole battle; and it is cause for thankfulness that the casualties were so few. The men were quiet and firm under this long ordeal. Only one other thing deserves mention: From the time the signal guns were fired on the night of the 11th to the time when the enemy retreated across the river in the night of the 16th, the number of men for duty remained about the same, rather increasing toward the last. The desire to meet the enemy was universal

I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

HENRY L. BENNING,

Colonel, Commanding Brigade.

Major SELLERS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

[21.]

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* But see revised statement, VOL. XXI, p. 139.

+ Shows 1 mas killed, 2 officers and 7 men wounded, and 1 man missing.

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