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[133] known, officers and men expected soon to be engaged with the enemy in force; and it affords me pleasure to report that all were anxious for the encounter, and manifested a feeling of disappointment as the day passed on and no signs of an advance were given by the enemy. A brisk skirmish was kept up during the day, in which I sustained a loss of thirty-seven officers and men killed and wounded. Among the former were Captain Ames, Company C, Twenty-first Virginia regiment, and Lieutenant Swoops, Company E, Twenty-first Virginia regiment, both in the faithful discharge of their duty. The fighting was necessary to keep the sharpshooters from occupying the crest which commanded our line.

Where all behaved coolly, gallantly, and equally well, I can speak of none in particular. I can only say that the gallant little brigade which has fought so gallantly and lost so heavily in the great battles of the past summer and fall, was ready to do its duty and bear its part in making the shortest and most direct route to Richmond a hard road to travel.

Very respectfully,

J. R. Jones, Brigadier-General, commanding.

Report of Colonel Pendleton, commanding brigade.

headquarters Starke's brigade, camp near Fredericksburg, Dec. 19, 1862.
Captain W. T. Taliaferro, A. A. General Jackson's Division:
Captain: In obedience to the circular order of the Brigadier-General commanding, of this date, requiring reports from commanders of brigades of the participation of their respective commands in the late operations around Fredericksburg, I beg leave to submit the following report of the part taken therein by the brigade under my command:

Having previously cooked three days rations, on the morning of the twelfth instant, at early dawn, we marched from our camp, near Guineas Depot, for the scene of the late engagement. The brigade under my command, soon after its arrival on the ground, about two P. M., took its position in line of battle on the extreme left of the right wing, in rear of and supporting Thomas's brigade in General A. P. Hill's division. In this position we remained until Saturday morning, the thirteenth, when we were ordered to take a different position, to our left and rear. Here we remained inactive, awaiting the progress of events, until half past 1 P. M., when a rapid and continued fire of musketry in our front indicated that the enemy had advanced to attack our front line, and we moved forward in close supporting distance of General Thomas, to whose relief I was ordered to go in case he desired my assistance. It was not until about four P. M. that I received a message from General Thomas informing me that he had driven the enemy back, but had only three rounds of ammunition, and wished me to move up close enough to charge the enemy in conjunction with him so soon as he should be again engaged. In accordance with this request, I again moved my command forward to within eighty paces of the line held by General Thomas, with unflinching determination, and, having ordered my men to lie down to avoid the desultory fire of the enemy's sharpshooters, awaited the signal for the onset. But the enemy having failed to renew the attack, as was anticipated, I was not called on. Just when it began to grow dark, I received the order of Lieutenant-General Jackson for a general advance between sunset and dark, and commenced the execution of it by moving forward; but finding that the troops in front of me were not in motion, I ordered a halt. Shortly afterwards the order was countermanded, and I bivouacked for the night.

At half past 3 o'clock, on the morning of the fourteenth, I was ordered to relieve General Pender on our advance line, and immediately did so.

The battery of Captain Carrington, stationed in front of my left, reported to me for orders, and was directed not to open unless the enemy threatened us with an attack, as he would thereby attract upon us the cross-fire of three of the enemy's batteries, from which the ground afforded us no protection whatever. Such, I was informed by General Pender, had been the case the day previous. From misapprehension or some other cause unknown to me, so soon as the forces of the enemy were seen to be in motion at the distance of apparently a mile, Captain Carrington opened upon his column with rifle pieces, and the consequence which I had foreseen immediately ensued, resulting in the loss of ten or twelve wounded, with little advantage to our side.

About ten A. M. I was ordered to throw my command forward in the field about three hun dred yards, and occupy the line of the railroad, beyond which I had already posted my line of skirmishers before daylight. Moving in a circuitous route by the right flank, so as to screen the movement as much as possible from the observation and fire of the enemy's sharpshooters, I at once proceeded to occupy the new position assigned to me, though I found it impossible of accomplishment without the loss of several men. wounded, one or more fatally. In moving four of the regiments of my brigade from the railroad, under an order subsequently received to throw them back in a line nearly at right angles with the railroad, I again sustained a slight loss from the same cause. The skirmishers thrown out along my front kept up a brisk and well-directed fire during the whole day, (twice exhausting their ammunition,) and, as was ascertained by actual observation during the presence of the flag of truce in the afternoon, with fatal effect on the enemy. The enemy, contrary to all expectation, having failed to advance or renew his attack during the day, we quietly bivouacked in our position for the night, and being relieved at four A. M., on the fifteenth, by the division of Major-General D. H. Hill, retired to the line of the reserve, which we occupied until it was ascertained

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