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‘ [77] must do something for my country.’1 This incident was, perhaps, unique in the war in view of all the circumstances. Mr. Fuller had just been cautioned that he would be exposed to especial danger, as still wearing the uniform of a staff officer, and that, as he had his discharge with him, he would not be subject to exchange if captured; nor would his family receive a pension were he killed.2 It is a curious illustration of the uncertainties of earthly fame that since Mr. Fuller was killed, technically, as a civilian, his name does not appear in the large volume of official records devoted to Fredericksburg.

On the following day the Union forces crossed the river, the leading brigade being that commanded by Gen. Charles Devens, Jr., of Worcester, Mass. Brig.-Gen. John Newton, commanding the 3d Division, says in his report: ‘My thanks are due to all, according to their opportunities, but especially to Brig.-Gen. Charles Devens, who commanded the advance and rear guard in the crossing and recrossing of the river.’3 In the main battle of Fredericksburg, December 13, the 18th Mass. Infantry (Col. Joseph Hayes) was conspicuous in a charge, nearly penetrating the enemy's position at Marye's Heights, where its dead and wounded were found lying close to the works. At the third assault upon the enemy's works in the afternoon, when the 19th Mass. was put in front to occupy some freshly made works, which it held until its ammunition was exhausted, seven color-bearers were shot down in succession; and on one occasion, when two were killed at once, and their colors lay on the ground, Lieut. Edgar M. Newcomb of Boston seized both flags and raised them, meeting his own death in so doing. Somewhat similar to this was the experience of Sergeant Plunkett of the 21st, who raised the national flag when it was shot down only to lose both arms and be seriously wounded in the chest. He will be remembered by many, in later life, as having been for many years the armless sergeant-at-arms of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. The details are thus given by his regimental commander, Col. W. S. Clark:4 ‘The 2d Brigade was now ordered to the front, and, forming in double line of battle, most gallantly and steadily moved across the plain, swept by the destructive fire of the enemy. When about sixty rods from the city, Color-Sergeant Collins of Company A [21st ’

1 See his memoirs by his brother under the title Chaplain Fuller (Boston, 1863); also one in Harvard Memorial Biographies (1st ed.), I, 79.

2 Chaplain Fuller, p. 301.

3 Official War Records, XXI, 535.

4 Report in Official War Records, XXI, 327.

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