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[428] us to retire. I did not see many of the boys, and tried to keep with one or two, but when I got back to a house used as a hospital I lost sight of them all. As we were falling back it seemed as though the balls flew thicker than before; but perhaps I noticed them more. I gave nearly all my water to a man wounded through the lungs, and oh, how eagerly he grasped my canteen as I knelt down by his side!

I went back, trying to find our men, but not seeing any except Dunn, I went back to the house that we passed in the morning and got some water, and I never found any that tasted better than at that moment. I then found Dixon and a few of the boys; but none knew where the regiment lay. We went back towards the battle-field, and after some inquiries we found the brigade; there were thirteen of the company present of sixty-three who had gone out with us in the morning. . . . . We went in with five hundred and seventy-four men, and now number two hundred and fifty. Four commissioned officers were killed and five wounded.

Soon after the battle of Antietam the Fifteenth Regiment moved with our army towards the Potomac, and forded the river near Harper's Ferry. The army remained in camp at or near Bolivar Heights till about the middle of November, when it moved to Falmouth, opposite to Fredericksburg, and there went into camp. In the first Fredericksburg battle Chapin's regiment was in the reserve. The Fifteenth Massachusetts at that time was in the Second Division, Second Corps; General Hancock commanding the corps, and General Gibbon the division. The regiment crossed over the river on the first day (December 11), late in the afternoon, and passed the night under the river's bank. Early the next morning it advanced without opposition into the city of Fredericksburg, and during the following night was out on picket duty. In a letter to his cousin, dated December 19, 1852, he thus narrates the further part taken by his regiment in the battle:—

About half past 8 (in the morning of December 13th), heavy firing, both musketry and artillery, began on the left of the line, and the battle had in reality commenced. The Fifteenth fell in and was rapidly marched to the scene of action, about two o'clock, P. M. As

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