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[145]

Report of Lieutenant-Colonel Rice.

headquarters Third battalion South Carolina infantry, December 22, 1862.
Captain: On Saturday morning, thirteenth instant, the Third battalion, Kershaw's brigade, McLaws's division, South Carolina infantry, was ordered by Brigadier-General Kershaw to change position, from that first assigned to it, to the mill on the crest south of Fredericksburg, there to guard a gap in the railroad embankment, and prevent its passage by the enemy. The order was immediately executed; but the enemy failing to make his appearance at or near the gap, the battalion was not actively engaged in the battle of the thirteenth instant. This position was held by the battalion until the night of the sixteenth instant, when it was ordered on picket guard. On Saturday morning, while marching to the mill, Private A. W. Anderson, Company A, was severely wounded in the head by a shell from the enemy's guns. On Tuesday, the sixteenth instant, Private Wesley Bryant, Company E, was killed by a fragment of shell.

The above report of the whereabouts of the Third battalion South Carolina infantry, during the battle of the thirteenth instant, is respectfully submitted.

Your obedient servant,

W. G. Rice, Lieutenant-Colonel Third Battalion South Carolina Infantry.


Report of Lieutenant-Colonel Bland.

headquarters Seventh South Carolina regiment, camp near Fredericksburg, Va., December 19, 1862.
Captain R. C. Holmes, A. A. G.:
Sir: I have the honor to report that, upon hearing the signal guns, on the morning of the eleventh instant, I formed my regiment, about four o'clock, and marched to the position assigned me in line, on the hill to the right of the Telegraph road and left of Captain Read's battery. I deployed forward the flank companies, one hundred and fifty yards, to a ditch in rear of a field upon the edge of the open plain. This position we occupied during the bombardment of city and crossing the river by the enemy. At seven o'clock P. M. on the twelfth, I received orders to occupy, with the regiment, the ground held by our line of skirmishers and open rifle-pits during the night, advancing my skirmishers in the open field in front. The rifle-pits were finished and occupied by eight o'clock A. M. of the thirteenth, (Saturday.) About ten o'clock A. M. the enemy advanced and attacked the position held by General Cobb's brigade, of which engagement we were quiet spectators, until one o'clock P. M., when I received orders, with the other regiments of the brigade, to reenforce General Cobb. I moved by the left flank, in rear of the Third South Carolina regiment, down the Telegraph road for one hundred and fifty yards, then filed to the left, across Hazel Run, up the bluff in rear of Colonel Walton's battery, to the hill in rear of the Marye house, where I met Lieutenant Doby, of General Kershaw's staff, who ordered me to form the regiment in rear of Colonel Nance's Third South Carolina, which was on the left and upon a line with the Marye house. Immediately after I formed line, with the Fifteenth South Carolina filed in my rear. At this time I lost several of my officers and men wounded by fragments of shell; among them Captains Roper and Hudgens and Lieutenant Lovelace. In about three quarters of an hour, I was called upon by the commanding officer of the Fifteenth North Carolina regiment to reenforce him. I at once moved by the right flank into his position, which was to the right and front of the Marye house, my three left companies being in front of the house. The position was a good one, with the crest of the hill just in our front, at which point it descended rapidly towards the enemy. About seventy yards below, and in front of us, was the Telegraph road, with a stone wall or fence on the enemy's side, behind which rested three regiments of Cobb's brigade, and the Second and Eighth South Carolina regiments, the two latter having just reenforced them. The knoll in my front rendered it impossible for us to injure our friends, but placed us in fine range of our enemies. We would load and advance to fire, and then fall back to reload. My right flank was exposed, by a slight depression in the hill, to an oblique fire from the enemy, which was taken advantage of. Hence the greater loss in the right wing. We continued in the engagement until night, when the final charge was made and the enemy repulsed. My officers and men behaved as became South Carolinians and soldiers of Kershaw's brigade. I received valuable assistance from Major J. S. Hard and Adjutant Carwill, of this regiment, and Lieutenant Doby, of General Kershaw's staff, whose gallant conduct cannot be too highly spoken of. After night, I relieved, by order, Phillips's legion, of General Cobb's brigade, which was behind the stone fence before mentioned, in my late front. We held this position, with the wings doubled, occasionally exchanging shots with the enemy, until Tuesday morning, tenth instant, when I was ordered into the city on picket duty. We were relieved by one of General Barksdale's regiments, at seven o'clock P. M., and marched back to camp, having been absent six days and five nights. Drs. Shine and Carlisle displayed their usual skill and energy in caring for the wounded. My loss was four killed and fifty-seven wounded. Most of the wounds are slight.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

Elbert Bland, Lieutenant-Colonel, commanding Seventh South Carolina Regiment.


Report of Major Moody.

B. G. Humphreys, Colonel commanding Twenty-First Regiment Mississippi Vols.:
Sir: In compliance with your order, on the morning of the eleventh December, I took command of the right wing of the Fourth regiment,


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