Report of Col. Robert McMillan, Twenty-fourth Georgia, Commanding Cobb's Brigade.
DECEMBER 11-15, 1862.--Battle of Fredericksburg, Va.
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXI [S# 31]
Fredericksburg, Va., December 20, 1862.
Maj. JAMES M. GOGGIN,
1 have the honor to report to you the part taken by this brigade in the battle of Fredericksburg.
On the morning of the 11th instant, at 5 o'clock, the brigade was put under arms and in position, and so remained until 7 p.m., when the Eighteenth and Twenty-fourth Georgia Regiments and Phillips' Legion were marched into Fredericksburg by General Cobb, to relieve General Barksdale, and took position on our line of battle in the road along the foot of Marye's Hill, crossing the Telegraph road, by which the enemy advanced--the Legion on the left, Twenty-fourth Georgia in the center, and Eighteenth on the right. The men lay on their arms during the night. Our pickets and scouts took 15 prisoners. Close and heavy skirmishing was kept up during Friday, the 12th, and on that night we again rested on our arms.
At day break on the 13th, skirmishing again commenced, accompanied by the enemy's shells. This was kept up continuously until about 11 a.m., when the advance of the enemy drove in our pickets, and his column approached the left of our line by the Telegraph road and deployed toward our right. He had succeeded in planting three stand of colors along our front, and when his column had been deployed about twothirds of the distance on his line, one well-directed fire had so - ranks that the survivors retreated. General Cobb, whose fall we so much deplore, lived to see this first signal repulse and the bravery of the troops he so well commanded. About twelve or fifteen minutes thereafter, General Cobb fell, mortally wounded, and I took command of the brigade. Soon another column, heavier than the first, advanced in our front and moved steadily forward to their colors near our center. As the column approached, I directed the small-arms to cease until the enemy should get nearer. So soon as he got within certain range, our fire mowed down his ranks until they faltered and the survivors retreated. They were met by a strong re-enforcement, and again advanced upon us in heavier force, and this time the slaughter in their ranks was terrific, and we again drove them back. Column after column was brought up during the afternoon, and the battle continued until after dark. In every attack the enemy was repulsed with immense slaughter. During the afternoon a courier informed me that you had sent the Sixteenth Georgia Regiment to the mill to await orders. I sent for that regiment and placed it on our right, to strengthen and protect that point, which it held during the remainder of the engagement.
We rested on our arms that night, and throughout the next day (Sunday, the 14th) a close, heavy, and continuous skirmish fire was kept up. On Sunday night we were relieved by General Semmes.
I cannot speak in too high terms of the cool bravery of both officers and men, and the promptness and cheerfulness with which they obeyed and executed all orders. The heaps of slain in our front tell best how well they acted their part. Annexed is a list of killed and wounded.
Very respectfully, &c.,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
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