The Battle of Fredericksburg

Author

Recipient

Date Written

Dec. 15, 1862

History Referenced

The following was written 156 years, 7 months, 4 days ago.
It was a Monday.

South Bank of the Rappahannock
Laying about 1 mile from Fredericksburg
Dec 15, 1862

Dear Mother,

As we have been having a battle for the last few days, I thought you would be anxious to hear from me. Well Mother we have been in battle and a serious one for us too. This is now the fifth day since the cannonading commenced. Dec. 11, the firing commenced which was Thursday. We were then about three miles from the river. We moved to the river and layed there that night under fire and crossed the river Friday morning and layed very near the city of Fredericksburg the rest of that day and night. The next morning, Saturday, we fell in to a line and the rebs commenced shelling us and we moved on them. They had their position in a piece of woods and there was a railroad on the edge of the woods. It was dug down so that it made a large ditch and they were concealed in that. They shelled them with our batterys for two or three hours and then sent out a Brigade of Infantry to charge on them. They went out and fired on them three or four rounds and got cut up and came in. Then they sent our Brigade out. It was a half a mile of almost level plain before we came to the woods. We are in Duryeas Brigade. It is commanded by Col. Root now so if you see in the papers you will know we were there. Col. Root told us we must drive them from that Railroad. We charged on them and advanced to the railroad. That is where our brave boys fell thick and fast. We gained the R road and took a good lot of prisoners and a great many more retreated to the woods. We crossed the road and began to pepper them behind the trees. We held our position about an hour and they was no Brig. That dare to come up and relieve us and the Rebs were reinforced and our Regt. Had got so reduced they gave us the order to retreat and we retreated back and they got a cross fire over us when we were retreating and cut us up still more. We gained our place that we stated from and I was one of nine men and one Com. Officer of all that was left of Co. G, 16th Me. Regt. Which numbered 39 guns and two Com officers. In the morning Sunday, they were shelling us all day but other Brigades had to do the fighting besides us. We lay under arms yesterday and are today. There is not much shelling this afternoon. There was some this forenoon. We cannot tell whether there will be any more or not. We have got the Acct. of killed and wounded. We have 22 wounded and four killed and Sawyer is among the number. I did not see him fall but there has two or three told me that they saw him fall dead. John Fenderson was not in the battle. He was let sick about a week ago. I believe he is over the river helping take care of the sick. I rec’d a letter from you last night with one dollar in it. You had not better send any more now. I got my haversack and lost it again on the field. If you have sent the box all right, if not, do not send it until I send for it. I will write again in a day or two when I get more time. I never want to see such a sight again. I have the mind of fighting the best of any man in the C.
JHF

Our Capt. Was wounded. Write as soon as possible.

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