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[151] remained on the field until after dark. I fear I shall lose the assistance of this valuable officer for several months. Late in the evening, two pieces of Captain Hupp's battery, under Lieutenant Griffin, were ordered to the right of the railroad, and were successfully engaged with the enemy's sharpshooters. Captain Brooke's battery, although not actively engaged, was exposed to the enemy's fire on Saturday and Sunday. I cannot refrain from expressing my high admiration for the conduct of the officers and men of my command in the action before Fredericksburg. After marching all of the previous night, they came upon a field strewn with the wrecks of other batteries, and behaved in a manner which elicited the praise of all who saw them. I append a list of casualties:

Lieutenant-Colonel Coleman, wounded in leg. Poague's battery, six killed and ten wounded. Watson's Second Howitzers, one killed and seven wounded. Smith's Third Howitzers, three killed and three wounded. Dance's battery, none killed, two wounded. Hupp's battery, none killed, one wounded. Brooke's battery, none killed, two wounded. Total killed, ten. Total wounded, twenty-six.

I beg leave to call attention to the fact that but few of the shell for Parrott rifles exploded, owing to imperfect fuses.

Respectfully submitted.

J. Thompson Brown, Colonel First Virginia Artillery.

Report of Major D. B. Bridgford.

Headquarters Provost Marshal Second corps, January 9, 1863.
Major A. S. Pendleton, Assistant Adjutant-General:
Major: In obedience to an order from the Lieutenant-General commanding, I herewith transmit the operations of the provost guard, consisting of the battalion and Captain Upshur's squadron of cavalry:

On the eleventh December I received an order to move towards Fredericksburg, with two days rations cooked and placed in haversacks.

December twelfth, I moved at dawn on the Fredericksburg road to Hamilton's Crossing, where I placed a guard for the purpose of arresting all stragglers; also placed a guard, consisting of cavalry and infantry, along the whole line of the corps, in rear of the line of battle about half a mile, with instructions to arrest all men without proper passes, on authorized business for their commands, to be brought to the guard placed on the railroad. There my brigade surgeon was stationed to examine all men claiming to be sick, without proper passes from their brigade or regimental surgeons. Numbers, however, were really sick and totally unfit for duty. They were without passes. When a sufficient number were collected together, I sent them, under charge of cavalry, to be delivered to the first major-general whose command was going into the fight, to place them in front and most exposed position of his command. I am happy to state the number arrested and sent forward were comparatively few, in consideration of the size of the army.

During the thirteenth and fourteenth, the number sent in under guard were only five hundred and twenty-six. Numbers were turned back, owing to their not having proper passes to return to the rear to cook, &c.

I am most happy to state I had no occasion to carry into effect the order to shoot all stragglers who refused to go forward, or if caught a second time, upon the evidence of two witnesses, to shoot them. Had I occasion to carry it into effect, it certainly should have been executed to the very letter.

During the thirteenth and fourteenth I received and placed under guard three hundred and twenty-four prisoners of war, which I sent to Richmond by order of General Lee; eleven of them were commissioned officers and paroled by me; the balance I took names, regiments, brigades, and corps, as far as possible, in obedience to your order.

December sixteenth, I received one hundred and nine prisoners of war, which I paroled and sent to Guineas Depot, under command of Captain Upshur, with instructions to have them forwarded by railroad to Richmond, if possible, which orders were carried into effect. During the same day I went through Dr. Black's and Whitehead's hospital, where I paroled twenty-three Federal prisoners.

A considerable number of wounded prisoners were sent to Richmond. They do not appear in this statement, nor could I by any means ascertain the number.

On the seventeenth, I received an order to move with my entire guard in rear of General D. H. Hill's division on the Port Royal road. Captain Upshur, with his squadron, being absent, I ordered Captain Tucker to assist in bringing up the rear.

On the eighteenth, I camped on Mr. Brooke's farm, near where General D. H. Hill's division halted. I am happy to inform you that there was little or no straggling; the number did not exceed thirty, notwithstanding I used the cavalry in scouring the entire country around. It is my belief, so far as I was able to judge, that there was little disposition on the part of the men to shirk from duty; but, on the contrary, everything went to prove their willingness to do their utmost. The great mass seemed eager to confront the foe. The present system of provost guard, if carried into effect, will prevent all future straggling.

I have the honor to be, sir,

Your most obedient servant,

D. B. Bridgford, Major and Chief Provost Marshal Second Corps.
P. S. During the thirteenth there were three hundred and twenty sent back, and on the fourteenth two hundred and six, making the number, as above stated, five hundred and twenty-six.

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