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[100] to advance which existed and was evident among all, officers and men, could not be surpassed. And, when it was discovered, on the sixteenth, that the enemy had retired, there was an universal expression of disappointment.

The artillery along the heights, under the supervision of Colonel H. C. Cabell, chief of artillery, and his subordinate, Major Hamilton, opened fire on the enemy's left flank whenever the column advanced, with such effect as to always force them to retire in disorder, or to incline to their right under shelter of ravines and rising ground, forced one of the enemy's batteries to retire, which had come forward on the right, and was of material assistance in checking the advance of their troops, which were threatening the centre. I refer you to the special report of Colonel Cabell in reference to the operations of the artillery.

The country and the army have to mourn the loss of Brigadier-General Thomas R. R. Cobb, who fell while in position with his brigade, and was borne from the field while his men were repulsing the first assaults of the enemy. He had but lately been promoted to a brigade, and his devotion to his duties, his aptitude for the profession of arms, and his control over his men, I have never seen surpassed. Our country has lost a pure and able defender of her rights, both in the council and the field.

My Aid-de-camp, Captain H. L. King, was killed on Marye's Hill, pierced with five balls, while conveying an order to Brigadier-General Cobb. He was a brave and accomplished officer and gentleman, and had already distinguished himself during the operations in front of Fredericksburg, as he had done in all the other engagements when on duty.

Lieutenant T. S. B. Tucker, my other Aid-decamp, was badly wounded, while bearing one of my orders. He has always been noted for his daring and gallantry.

The services of my Adjutant-General, Major James M. Goggin, were important and distinguished, as they have been always.

My thanks are due to the other members of my staff, Major McLaws and Major Edwards, for their assistance; to Lieutenant Edwards, ordnance officer, who was active and efficient in supplying ammunition to the troops; and to Lieutenant Campbell, of the engineers, who had been engaged day and night, frequently all night, in strengthening the different positions, and on all occasions was very devoted and prompt in the discharge of his duties.

Colonel McMillan, of the Twenty-fourth Georgia, who succeeded to the command of the brigade when General Cobb was disabled, during the first assaults of the enemy on Marye's Hill, behaved with distinguished gallantry and coolness.

General Barksdale commanded his fine brigade as it should have been commanded, and added new laurels to those gained on every other previous battle-field.

I call attention to the conduct of General Kershaw, who, after the fall of General Cobb, commanded the troops about Marye's Hill, composed of his own brigade and that of General Cobb. He possesses military talents of a high order, and unites with them that self-possession and daring gallantry which endears him to his command, and inspires a confidence which but increases as the danger grows more imminent.

My Inspector-General, Major Costin, was particularly active and distinguished in leading troops into position and carrying orders, frequently under the hottest fire, and for his close attention to all his duties.

The brigade of General Semmes was not actually engaged; but, under his supervision, the position he commanded was strongly fortified, and his men were well prepared and eager for the fight under his leadership.

Surgeon Gilmon, chief surgeon of the division, had his field hospital in readiness, and his arrangements were so complete that there was no detention or unnecessary suffering of the wounded, and those who could not remain in camp were sent at once to the hospitals in Richmond.

The loss of killed, wounded and missing, in my command, was as follows:--
  3331373One missing, supposed to have been killed while the regiment was on picket.
Kershaw's Brigade39   
Barksdale's Brigade2915162242 
Cobb's Brigade321984234 
Semmes' Brigade 4 4 
Grand total10068667853 

I enclose reports of the several brigade commanders, with those of their respective regimental and battalion commanders, excepting General Barksdale, who, receiving a leave of absence, went away without rendering his report; those of his regimental commanders are, however, enclosed.

Very respectfully,

L. Mclaws, Major-General.

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