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[132] battalion, Colonel Tayloe, the only regiments actively engaged, advanced in a run, separated themselves from the brigade, passed well to the left, and encountered the enemy in rear of our front lines, about midway between Generals Archer and Lane. Firing one volley into their left flank and charging them with a yell, they fled precipitately to the shelter of the railroad cut. Here they rallied and made a short stand, but being joined by a Georgia brigade, (Lawton's, I believe,) we made a second charge, which drove them from the railroad. Here the men were ordered to halt; but such was their impetuosity that much the larger portion of these two regiments advanced to the position which had been occupied by two of the enemy's batteries, which they found deserted. Being unsupported, they were, of course, compelled to retreat, which was done under the most galling fire of grape, canister, and minie balls.

The fact that only two regiments were actively engaged was accidental and unavoidable. The woods through which we passed being dense. and filled with troops, the rapid run of the leading regiments soon separated them from the brigade, and, while they passed well around to the left, the remainder of the brigade only marched by direct line to General Archer's left, who was said to have been flanked. Driving the enemy from the woods was a task of short duration, and the troops engaged were completely successful in driving back the enemy before the remaining regiments, a few minutes behind them, could come to their assistance.

During the fight several of the enemy's mounted officers were shot down, and the colors of one regiment were seen to fall four times.

It affords me much pleasure to mention the good conduct of Colonels Mayo and Tayloe, and the officers and men under their command.

The valor and daring of the men were unprecedented. Many of them were fighting in sight of their homes, and seemed determined to drive back the enemy at all hazards.

Our loss was considerable, being about twenty per cent. of the troops actively engaged.

Very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

J. M. Brockenbrough, Colonel, commanding Brigade.

Report of Brigadier-General Thomas.

headquarters Thomas's brigade, General A. P. Hill's division, December 20, 1862.
Major R. C. Morgan, A. A. G.:
Major: On Friday, December twelve, 1862, according to orders from Major-General Hill, this brigade left its camp near Mr. John Alsop's house, moved in the direction of Fredericksburg, and was directed to take position in line of battle on the military road, with orders to support General Pender, who occupied the front and left of the division. The remainder of the day and the succeeding night passed without any change in position.

About midday of December thirteenth, orders were received from Major-General Hill to render assistance and support to any part of the front line requiring it. Soon after which, an officer of General Lane's staff brought information that his brigade was hard pressed by overwhelming numbers. I immediately advanced my brigade down the road: being unable, on account of the density of the undergrowth, to advance in line, the brigade moved by the flank until near the scene of action, when the regiments were thrown into line of battle and advanced towards the enemy, who, at this time, had advanced into the woods. Their advance was checked there, and, after a stubborn resistance, this brigade charged them, driving them through the field and completely routing them. We pursued for some distance across the railroad, when, seeing no support either on the right or left, and my ammunition being reported to be well nigh exhausted, I concluded to fall back to the railroad. Forming, at this place, the front line, I determined to hold the position; at the same time, sending word to Colonel Pendleton, commanding brigade, that I was deficient in ammunition, and requesting him to be in supporting distance. The brigade bivouacked that night in the edge of the woods, throwing out pickets on the railroad, and were relieved early the next morning by Colonel Warren's brigade, and placed in reserve.

The officers and men of my command behaved with a gallantry highly commendable.

I have the honor to be, Major,

Your obedient servant,

Edward L. Thomas, Brigadier-General, commanding.

Report of Brigadier-General J. R. Jones.

headquarters Jones's brigade, December 20, 1862.
To Captain Taliaferro, Assistant Adjutant-General:
Captain: In the obedience to orders from division headquarters, I respectfully submit the following report of the part taken by my brigade in the recent battle at Fredericksburg:

I reached the ground on Friday evening, and was placed in position in the reserved line. On Saturday morning, thirteenth instant, I was directed to change my position to the left and farther to the front, but still occupying a portion in the reserve. My position subjected me to some annoyance from the shells of the enemy, one of which severely wounded the adjutant of the Forty-second Virginia regiment. About the middle of the day the musketry opened, when I was still farther advanced to within musketry range of the enemy. The front line not requiring support, I remained in this position the remainder of the day. In obedience to orders, I advanced at dawn next morning to the front, relieving Brigadier-General Lane. My command moved to this position under a heavy musketry fire from the enemy's sharpshooters, in which I had one man killed and several wounded. The completeness of the victory of Saturday not being

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