General J. B. Kershaw
writes to the editors as follows, December 6th,.1887:
General Ransom's letter, in ‘ The Century’ for December, 1887, in regard to his services at Fredericksburg, contains an error in relation to the operations of my brigade.
In the morning of that day, my troops were stationed at the foot of Lee's Hill.
After the assaults on General Cobb's position had commenced, I was directed to send two of my regiments to reenforce Cobb, and did so. Before they had reached him, tidings arrived of the fall of General Cobb, and I was immediately ordered to take the rest of my brigade to the position held by his forces, and assume command of the troops of McLaws's division there.
I preceded my troops, and as soon as possible arrived at the Stevens House at the foot of Marye's Hill.
As my brigade arrived they were placed--two regiments, the 3d and the 7th South Carolina, at Marye's House on the hill, and the rest of them in the sunken road, with the left resting about the Stevens House.
The last regiment that arrived was the 15th South Carolina (Colonel De Saussure's). He sheltered his command behind the cemetery on the hill until his proper position was made known, when he moved deliberately and in perfect order down the road to the Stevens House, and proceeded to the right of my line.
Instead of having two regiments engaged at that point, as General Ransom supposes, I had five regiments and a battalion (my entire brigade), each of which suffered more or less severely.
During these operations I received no orders or directions from any officer but my division commander, General McLaws.
I requested not to be relieved that night, and remained in that position until the evacuation of Fredericksburg by the Union forces.
These facts were officially reported at the time, and were then too well known to be the subject of mistake.
The Washington artillery on Marye's Hill firing upon the Union columns forming for the assault. |