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[116] them for crossing over the troops. Late in the evening, Captain Lewis, seeing a column of the enemy's infantry advancing to cross the upper pontoon bridge, gave the order to his battery to fire upon them. This was instantly done, and with such effect as to drive over half of it back under cover of some houses. Later in the evening, the battery again fired upon artillery and cavalry that were in sight, and soon drove them off and out of view. This battery had orders to waste no ammunition, and to fire only when damage could be inflicted upon the enemy. The brigade slept under arms in line of battle, strong pickets being thrown to the front. The artillerymen remained with their guns.

During Friday, the twelfth, the brigade remained under arms and in position; shot and shell from the enemy's batteries fell at times near them, but without inflicting any loss. Lewis's battery, at various times during the day, fired at the enemy's batteries while crossing the river. About three P. M., a column of infantry (one brigade) came in sight; shot and shell were thrown upon the head of this column, causing much confusion in their ranks, and forcing them to change their course, and take shelter behind houses. Later in the day, the battery fired upon cavalry crossing the ford; in each case damage was done the enemy, as his ambulances were seen to leave the field with wounded.

Again all slept under arms, (the night of the twelfth,) with strong pickets in our front.

The early morn of the thirteenth was dark, and much obscured by a dense fog; at length, the rising sun dissipating the mist, about eight A. M. musketry was heard on our right; this fire quickened, and artillery was also heard in the same direction. The rapidity and quantity of the musketry fire indicated that a general action had begun. The firing, at length, began to approach nearer us, the right of our left wing had become engaged, and the firing still continued, extending towards our left, reaching as far as its centre, and here it remained for a long time, approaching no nearer our position. The firing had now become general; musketry, artillery, and the bursting of shells are heard, varying at times in quantity and rapidity, but without any entire cessation till dark; at times it would appear to be more intense far to our right, and then, again, the centre and the left centre would seem to be the point where the enemy were concentrating their heaviest forces and making the most vigorous efforts to force our line. More artillery appeared to be used on this day then I had ever known before; frequently, during the continuance of this battle, I counted as many as fifty shots per minute.

During this long and intensely exciting day my brigade remained in line of battle, ready to meet any advance of the enemy, or to hasten to any point of the line that might need support.

The battery of Captain Lewis lost no opportunity of firing upon the enemy's infantry and cavalry when in easy range; in all, it fired four hundred rounds.

The brigade lost, to-day, one killed and eight wounded--Lewis's battery one killed and two wounded.

Although the brigade lost but few men by the enemy's artillery and none by the musket, it would seem to be almost incredible that the loss should have been so inconsiderable; for, from a point near a mile above Falmouth, on a commanding height, there was a six gun battery of rifle pieces that enfiladed my line lower; down and nearer, on the slope of this hill, was a second battery, that had the same fire upon them; and yet nearer, and immediately on the banks of the river, and to the right of the two batteries above referred to, was another; and then again, on a very commanding hill, in rear of Falmouth, near the house of Miss Scott, was a battery of more than twenty pieces that bore upon us, and these of the heaviest rifle pieces; and down the river were one or two other batteries that could throw shot and shell far beyond our line; in these batteries there could not have been less than fifty pieces that bore upon us.

The night of the thirteenth we were under arms, like the two previous nights, strong pickets being in our front. During the night, our pickets were heard to fire frequently in the direction of Fredericksburg.

The morning of the fourteenth was foggy, and, when it had been scattered by the rising sun, nothing was seen of the enemy in our front, save his distant line of cavalry videttes, as usual. The fourteenth passed off quietly, some few artillery shots during the day, and at intervals a little firing between the pickets. The night of the fourteenth and the day of the fifteenth passed off with little or no firing. The night of the fifteenth was dark, windy, and rainy, and the morning of the sixteenth foggy; when the fog disappeared it revealed the fact that the enemy had recrossed the river, nothings remaining on this side but a few of the wounded, the unburied dead, and a few of the infantry pickets, whom they had failed to relieve; these delivered themselves up to my command as prisoners.

My command now returned to their camp, having been under arms since the morning of the eleventh. The lists of casualties having been previously forwarded, it will suffice in this report to state that the loss in my command was fifteen killed and wounded; of this number three were killed.

I am, sir,

Very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

C. M. Wilcox, Brigadier-General, commanding, &c.


Report of Brig.-Gen. Featherston.

headquarters Featherston's brigade, December 22, 1862.

Thomas S. Mills, Major and A. A. General:
Major: In obedience to orders, I submit the following report of the part taken by my brigade in the battle before Fredericksburg:

About five o'clock A. M., on Thursday, the eleventh instant, at the firing of the signal guns,


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