made. He Thirty-first New York, Colonel Jones, was ordered to proceed up Deep Run to clear that ravine of the enemy's sharpshooters and to commence the attack on the enemy's lines. This regiment having become warmly engaged, my whole line was ordered forward and moved up gallantly, my skirmishers driving the enemy everywhere before them, and pressing him completely back to the base of the line of hills which bristled with his fortifications. Here a halt was ordered by General Brooks, and the engagement was discontinued, the enemy having been driven wherever found. Subsequently my command was relieved and drawn back near its former position, where the men were allowed to rest until the movement toward Fredericksburg was commenced at 11 p. m., when I reported with my command to Major-General Newton, and in obedience to orders moved in the rear of his division. The entire night was consumed in this movement. Just as day was beginning to dawn I halted my command in the outskirts of the town and remained there for a short time until a position was assigned me in front of the fortifications upon the heights of Saint Marye. I occupied this position at about 6 a. m. and disposed of my forces as follows: The Sixth Maine, Lieutenant-Colonel Harris; Thirty-first New York, Colonel Jones, and Fifth Wisconsin, Colonel Allen, I placed directly in front of the fortifications and just to the left of the plank road where it winds down the hill ad crossed the canal.
The Forty-third New York, Colonel Baker, and the Sixty-first Pennsylvania Volunteers, were reserved for purposed which will be indicated hereafter. The men were informed that they were to take the fortifications in front of them by storm, and regimental commanders were urged to enforce upon them the necessity of relying upon the bayonet alone instead of wasting ammunition by firing upon a foe sheltered behind fortifications. To the fidelity with which this instruction was observed I consider the glorious success of my command entirely due. All preparations having been completed, I commenced the attack at 10 a. m. by pushing forward upon the plank road and attacking column, consisting of the Sixty-first Pennsylvania, Colonel Spear, and the Forty-third New York, Colonel Baker, the Sixty-first being in front. This force, marching in columns of fours and having reached the bridge across the canal, took up the double-quick, pushing up the hill gallantly under a withering fire of musketry. The head of the column becoming engaged with the enemy was the signal for the direct attack upon the fortifications by the remainder of my command. Accordingly the regiments upon the left of the road were at once put in motion and swept steadily up the hill unmindful of the terrific fire of musketry and canister which was vomited forth upon them from stone walls, rifle-pits, and redoubts. Silent and cool, with ranks well closedm, they rushed on without firing a shot, routed the enemy from behind the stone wall at the point of the bayonet and without a pause pushed him before them up the heights. At this critical juncture the Sixty-first Pennsylvania was thrown into momentary confusion by the death of its gallant colonel, and fell back in some disorder. This exposed the flank of the Sixth Maine to a most destructive cross fire of musketry, but nothing could check these men of iron will. The rifle-pit was caried by a bayonet charge in which many of the enemy were slain, and still pressing on after the routed and panic-stricken foe, they carried the earth-works upon the crest of the hill and planted our colors there in triumph. The confusion in the colunm upon the plank road was only momentary. Colonel Baker at once pushed his regiment to the front and the works at this point were carried with small loss, the enemy's lines having already been broken.