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[140] effectiveness was nearly destroyed by its compelled removal of position.

Every battery officer received the instruction that he was to fire with great deliberation, and to fire only upon large bodies of troops. Of course, some discretion was allowed to every officer, and I am happy to be able to state that that discretion was generally well exercised. And one of the best proofs of the effectiveness of our fire was afforded by their turning their guns upon us.

In front of my position the low grounds extended in an apparent plain from the base of the hill to the river bank. Through these low grounds the Richmond and Fredericksburg Railroad and the river road pass. Though apparently a plain, there are many inequalities of the ground, which, with these roads, enabled the enemy to mask his approach. All but five of our batteries were so placed as to command not only the approach of the enemy on our right, but also the Telegraph road and the abandoned railroad, called the Fredericksburg and Gordonsville Railroad. The guns back of Howison's house, besides this, commanded the left of the Telegraph road, and enabled us to give an oblique and almost enfilading fire upon the enemy advancing from the various streets in Fredericksburg, and who were drawn up under the protection of the inequalities of the ground in front of Marye's Hill. The main battle on the left was fought to obtain this hill. Between this hill and the town of Fredericksburg, it is said, the Rappahannock formerly flowed. The conformation of the ground, therefore, enabled the enemy to mask their troops so as to be out of view of our infantry, in position at the foot of Marye's Hill, and even from our artillery on the hill itself. My position enabled me to observe the enemy's left flank, upon which our guns opened a most destructive fire. It was easy to perceive, from previous knowledge of the ground and the location of their left flank, where their troops were massed, and our batteries, having an almost enfilading fire, opened upon them. through the valley in front of Marye's Hill a sluice for the waste waters of the canal passes. there is no passage for the enemy's troops between the road immediately in front of Marye's house and the road leading directly from the Telegraph road to the depot of the Richmond and Fredericksburg Railroad. The approach by this latter road was completely commanded by our guns. Several times their advance was repulsed by the well-directed fire of our batteries.

Over a whole brigade was displaced and scattered in confusion to the rear. Once they made for the railroad cut, and several shells from our batteries exploded amongst them before they could escape from it. Once they charged by attempting to cross the cut, running down one side and up the other; and again they attempted to escape in the same manner. But on each occasion a murderous fire from our batteries caused them to retire precipitately.

I am confident that not only upon the approach and the successive repulses of the enemy was the fire of our batteries most efficacious, but that also it did great execution upon the masses of the enemy in front of Marye's Hill.

It may be proper, also, to state another fact in connection with the topography of the battle-field. The right of Marye's Hill terminates almost precipitously. The Telegraph road passes on the right of the hill, and then turns almost directly at right angles at the foot and in front of the hill. The railroad cut and embankment would have enabled the enemy to come in almost perfect security within a short distance of the right flank of our troops, drawn up behind the stone wall on the Telegraph road, and, by a rapid charge, to have our troops at the most serious disadvantage. Their advance could not have been effectively checked by the artillery on Marye's Hill, owing to the conformation of the ground.

It is due to the brave and skilful officers and cannoneers to say, that their cool, well-directed and most efficient fire not only aided materially in repulsing the direct attack on Marye's Hill, but in preventing the right flank of this position being turned by the enemy, While saying this, however, I wish to give all due praise to the gallant artillery corps who occupied so successfully the crest of Marye's Hill. I have been thus diffuse in describing the topography of the battlefield, as I think it due to our troops, both infantry and artillery, that the fact should be known, that not to the natural strength of our position, but to the skill and generalship of our leaders, and the gallantry, courage, and well-directed aim of our cannoneers and infantry, are we indebted for our most brilliant victory.

Forty-eight guns were placed under my charge during the engagement: Captain Reid's battery, three guns, occupied the position immediately to the right of the Telegraph road. Next to this battery, one of the thirty-pounder Parrott guns (Richmond manufactory) was placed. It was replaced by a Whitworth gun of Captain Love's battery. Next on the right, and on the hill back of Howison's house, and in the following order, were placed two six-pounder smooth-bore guns and two ten-pounder Parrotts, under the command of Captain Macon, of the Richmond Fayette artillery. The smooth-bore guns fired only round shot. Next, three pieces, Parrotts, of Captain R. L. Cooper's battery. This battery was withdrawn to another position, and replaced by three pieces, one Parrott and two three-inch rifles, of Captain Branch's battery. Next, two Parrotts of Captain Coalter's battery, and one thirty-pounder Parrott, (Richmond manufactory.) This gun was commanded by Lieutenant Anderson, of Captain Ells's battery. Both of the Richmond guns did good service, but exploded during the engagement. Next one three-inch rifle, commanded by Lieutenant Taylor, of Captain Eubank's battery. Next, one ten-pounder Parrott, commanded by Lieutenant Blunt, of Captain Dearing's battery. Next, five pieces, under the command of Major S. P. Hamilton, consisting of two ten-pounder Parrotts, of First company Richmond howitzers, Captain McCarthy, and three rifled guns of Captain Ross's battery. Captain Mosely's


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