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[109]

At five o'clock A. M. of the fifteenth, I was relieved by General D. H. Hill, and moved my command back to the Mine road.

I take pleasure in stating that officers and men behaved admirably, displaying coolness and courage under fire, and changing positions without any disorder or confusion.

I would particularly mention Brigadier-Generals Jones and Paxton, Colonel Warren, (Tenth Virginia,) commanding Taliaferro's brigade, and Colonel Pendleton, (Fifteenth Louisiana,) commanding Starke's brigade, whose reports are herewith forwarded, and who make especial mention of some of their officers: among them most particularly is Lieutenant-Colonel Gardner, Fourth Virginia infantry, who was severely wounded.

I cannot too highly mention the gallantry of Captain Brockenbrough, chief of artillery, and of Captain Wooding and Lieutenant Jones, Wooding's battery, and Lieutenant Lambie, Carpenter's battery, all of whom were severely wounded; and of Captain Caskie, Lieutenants McKendree, Hunton, Statham, Early, and Donald.

It is with great pain I have to add that the division has to deplore the loss of one of its most gallant officers of artillery, Lieutenant Barton, and two gallant officers of the Twenty-first Virginia regiment, Captain Ames and Lieutenant Swoop, who fell nobly discharging their duty.

I take occasion, in conclusion, to acknowledge my obligations to the officers of my staff, Captain W. T. Taliaferro, assistant adjutant-general, Captain Moore, inspector-general, and Major T. S. Taliaferro, volunteer aid-de-camp, and to call attention to the excellent arrangements made for the comfort of the wounded by Surgeon Coleman, medical director of division.

I enclose a list of killed and wounded, amounting to one hundred and ninety.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

W. B. Taliaferro, Brigadier-General, commanding Jackson's Division.


Report of Brigadier-General Early, commanding division.

headquarters Ewell's division, December 27, 1862.
Captain A. S. Pendleton, A. A. General Second Corps A. N. V.:
Captain: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of this division in the action of the thirteenth instant, near Fredericksburg:

In obedience to orders from the Lieutenant-General, commanding the Second corps, I marched the division, on the night of the twelfth instant, to the vicinity of Hamilton's Crossing, on the Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad, and bivouacked for the night. Early next morning, in accordance with like orders, I moved to the crossing, and posted the division nearly at right angles with the railroad, along the direct road, which here crosses the railroad, with my right resting on the latter, so as to support the right of Major-General A. P. Hill's division, which occupied the front line. Hays's brigade was placed on the right, with Trimble's brigade, under command of Colonel R. F. Hoke, of the Twenty-first North Carolina regiment, immediately in rear of it. To the left of Hays's was Lawton's brigade, under command of Colonel E. N. Atkinson, of the Twenty-sixth Georgia regiment; and to the left of the latter was my own brigade, under command of Colonel J. A. Walker, of the Thirteenth Virginia regiment. The batteries of the division, under charge of Captain J. W. Latimer, who was detailed to act as chief of artillery for the occasion, in consequence of Captain William D. Brown (who was previously acting in that capacity) having been disabled by an accident, were directed to be parked, under cover, in the rear, until wanted. As the division moved into position, the artillery fire commenced from the enemy's batteries, though not at first directed towards the place occupied by the division. After a short interval, however, shells began to fall in the vicinity, and for two or three hours the division was exposed to quite a severe cannonade, and suffered, to some extent, from the shells and other missiles which passed through the woods in front.

About or a little after noon, the infantry fire having commenced in front, and becoming quite animated, a messenger from Brigadier-General Archer, of General A. P. Hill's division, came to the rear, stating that General Archer was pressed and wished reinforcements. Just at this moment I received an order from the Lieutenant-General commanding the corps, through one of his staff officers, to hold my division in readiness to move to the right of the railroad, as. the enemy was making a demonstration in that direction. This caused me to hesitate a moment about sending a brigade forward; but I directed Colonel Atkinson to get ready to advance with his brigade, and the order had hardly been given before an officer of artillery came galloping to the rear with the information that an interval (an awful gulf, as he designated it) had been left in our front line on the left of General Archer's brigade, through which the enemy were penetrating with a heavy column, thus endangering Archer's brigade and all our batteries on the right. I immediately ordered Colonel Atkinson to move forward with his brigade, (Lawton's,) as I was informed the interval was in front of it. This order was promptly complied with, and the brigade, with the exception of one regiment, (the Thirteenth Georgia,) moved forward in fine style, and, in a few minutes, encountered the enemy in the woods on the hill immediately in rear of a point at which the railroad passes through a small neck of swampy woods, which position he had reached almost without opposition, thus greatly endangering our right, as, in a few minutes, Archer's and Field's brigades, with our batteries on the right, would have been surrounded, and the enemy have obtained a lodgment from which it would have been difficult to drive him. Lawton's brigade, without hesitating, at once dashed upon the enemy with the cheering peculiar to the Confederate soldier, and which is never mistaken for


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