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most of Hancock's corps, especially Meagher's Irish brigade, composed of the 63d, 69th, and 88th New York, the 28th Massachusetts, and the 116th Pennsylvania, which dashed itself repeatedly against those impregnable heights, until two-thirds” of its number strewed the ground; when the remnant fell back to a position of comparative safety, and were succeeded as they had been supported, by other brigades and divisions; each to be exposed in its turn to like pitiless, useless, hopeless slaughter. Thus Hancock's and French’s corps were successively sent up against those slippery heights, girdled with batteries, rising, tier above tier, to its crest, all carefully trained upon the approaches from Fredericksburg; while that fatal stone wall—so strong that even artillery could make no impression on it—completely sheltered Barksdale's brigade, which, so soon as our charging columns came within rifle-shot, poured into their faces the deadliest storm of musketry. Howard's division supported the two in advance; while one division of Wilcox’s (9th, late Burnside's) corps was detached to maintain communication with Franklin on our left. Hooker's grand division was divided, and in good part sent to rêen* Gen. Meagher, in his official report, says: “Of the 1,200 I led into action, only 280 appeared on parade next morning.” Among his officers who fell, he mentions Col. Heenan, Lt.-Col. Mulholland, and Maj. Bardwell, 116th Pa.; Maj. Wm. Horgan and Adj. J. R. Young, 88th N.Y.; Maj. James Cavanagh, 69th N. Y.; and Maj. Carraher, 28th Mass. The London Times's correspondent, watching the battle from the heights, and writing from Lee's headquarters, says: “To the Irish division, commanded by Gen. Meagher, was principally committed the desperate task of bursting out of the town of Freder

icksburg, and forming, under the withering fire of the Confederate batteries, to attack Marye's

force Franklin; while Hooker himself, believing the attack hopeless, required repeated and imperative orders from Burnside to induce him to order an advance; but Humphreys's division was at length thrown outfrom Fredericksburg, and bore its full part in the front attack, losing heavily. And thus the fight was maintained till after dark—assault after assault being delivered by divisions advancing against twice their numbers, on ground where treble the force was required for the attack that sufficed for the defense; while a hundred Rebel cannon, posted on heights which our few guns on that side of the river could scarcely reach, and could not effectually batter, swept our men down from the moment that they began to advance, and while they could do nothing but charge,

at length mercifully arrested this fruitless massacre, though the ter

Rebel works were piled with our dead and our disabled, there was no pretense that the Rebel front had been advanced one foot from the ground held by it in the morning. We had reason enough for sorrow, but none for shame. Franklin, on our left, beside his

Heights, towering immediately in their front. Never at Fontenoy, Albuera, nor at Waterloo, was more undoubted courage displayed by the sons of Erin than during those six frantic dashes which they directed against the almost impregnable position of their foe. “That any mortal men could have carried the position before which they were wantonly sacrificed, defended as it was, it seems to me idle for a moment to believe. But the bodies which lie in dense masses within 40 yards of the muzzles of Col. Walton's guns are the best evidence what manner of men they were who pressed on to death with the dauntlessness of a race which has gained glory on a thousand battle-fields, and never more richly deserved it than at the foot of Marye's Heights on the 13th day of Decem

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and fall, and die. And when night

races and slopes leading up to the . own 40,000 men, was rêenforced, the night before, by two divisions (Kearny’s and Hooker's own) from Hooker, raising his command nearly to 55,000. At least half our entire force across the river was thus with Franklin on the left, where the main attack manifestly should have been made, and where Burnside appears to have purposed that it should have been made. But it was after 7 A.M. of the fatal day when Franklin received his orders; which, if they were intended to direct a determined attack in full force, were certainly very blindly and vaguely worded,” whereas, a military order should be as precise and clear as language will allow, and as positive as the circumstances will warrant. It is very certain that a Massena or a Blucher could have found warrant in that order for attacking at once with his entire corps, leaving Hooker's men to defend the bridges and act as a

reserve; but, if hot work is wanted,

of a Franklin, it should be required and prescribed in terms more peremptory and less equivocal. IIe asserts that he expected and awaited further orders, which he never in terms received ; at least, not till it was too late to obey them with any hope of SUICC eSS. Franklin's grand division consisted

of the two corps of Reynolds (16,000) and W. F. Smith (21,000), with cavalry under Bayard, raising it nearly or quite to 40,000. At 9 A.M., Reynolds advanced on the left; Meade's division, in front, being immediately assailed by Rebel batteries (J. E. B. Stuart's) on his left flank, which compelled him to halt and silence them. At 11 A. M., he pushed on, fighting; while one of Hooker's divisions in reserve was brought across, and Birney’s and Gibbon's divisions were moved up to his support. Reynolds's corps being thus all in line of battle, Meade again gallantly advanced into the woods in his front; grappling, at 1, in fierce encounter, with A. P. IIill's corps, crushing back the brigades of Archer and Lane, and, forcing his way in between them, took some 200 prisoners. Here, in attempting to rally Orr's rifles, which had been disorganized, fell Brig.-Gen. Maxcy Gregg,” mortally wounded. But the enemy rallied all their forces; Early’s division, composed of Lawton's, Trimble's, and his own brigades, which, with D. H. Hill's corps, had arrived that morning from Port Royal, after a severe nightmarch, and been posted behind A. P. Hill, rushed to the front; and Meade's division, lacking prompt support, was overwhelmed and driven back, with heavy loss, to the railroad, which they had crossed in their advance, where they made a brief stand, but were again hurled back by an impetuous, determined Rebel charge, losing many prisoners. Meade had already called for aid: and Gen. Gibbon had advanced on his right, and one of Birney's brigades on his left, whereby the enemy were checked and repulsed; Col. Atkinson, commanding Lawton's brigade, being here wounded and taken prisoner. Meade's division fell back, having lost 1,760 men this day out some 6,000 engaged; having, of its three Brigadiers, Gen. C. F. Jackson killed, and Col. Wm. T. Sinclair se. verely wounded. Maj.-Gen. Gibbon, on his right, was also wounded and taken off the field; whereupon, his division fell back also. Sickles's division of Hooker's men, which had followed Birney's to the front, took the place of Gibbon's; but Smith's corps—21,000 strong—was not sent in, and remained nearer to Fredericksburg, not determinedly engaged throughout the day. Yet, even Reynolds's and Stoneman's corps (the latter composed of Birney's and Sickles's divisions) showed so strong a front that Stonewall Jackson did not venture to assume the offensive till nightfall; when a very brief exerience convinced him that he might better let well alone.” * Jackson, with exemplary candor, says in his official report: “Repulsed on the right, left, and center, the enemy, soon after, réformed his lines, and gave some indications of a purpose to renew the attack. I waited some time to receive it; but, he making no forward movement, I determined, if prudent, to do so myself. The artillery of the enemy was so judiciously posted as to make an advance of our troops across the plain very

* “Gen. Hardie will carry this dispatch to you and remain with you during the day. The General commanding directs that you keep your whole command in position for a rapid movement down the old Richmond road, and you will send out at once a division, at least, to pass below Smithfield, to seize, if possible, the heights near Capt. Hamilton's, on this side of the Massaponax, taking care to keep it well supported and its line of retreat open. He has ordered another column, of a division or more, to be moved from Gen. Sumner's command up the plank road to its intersection of the telegraph road, where they will divide, with a view to seizing the heights on both of those roads. Holding these heights, with the heights near Capt. Hamilton's, will, I hope, compel the enemy to evacuate the whole ridge between these points. He makes these

moves by columns, distant from each other, with
a view of avoiding the possibility of a collision
of our own forces, which might occur in a gene-
ral movement during the fog. Two of Gen.
Hooker's divisions are in your rear at the
bridges, and will remain there as supports.
Copies of instructions to Gens. Sumner and
IIooker will be forwarded to you by an Orderly
very soon. You will keep your whole command
in readiness to move at once as soon as the fog
lists. The watchword, which, if possible, should
be given to every company, will be ‘Scott.'
“I have the honor to be, General, very re-
spectfully, your obedient servant, -
“JoHN G. PARKE, Chief of Staff.
“Major-Gen. FRANRLIN, Commanding Grand
Division Army of Potomac."

* Governor elect of South Carolina.

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hazardous; yet it was so promising of good results, if successfully executed, as to induce me


The advance of Reynolds's left was for some time retarded by Stuart's cavalry, holding the extreme Rebel right, whose battery opened a most annoying cross-fire on our infantry as it advanced from the Rappahannock. The 9th New York was first sent to take this battery, but failed— taking to their heels instead ; when a brigade was brought up by Gen. Tyler, and charged with no better success. A third charge was stopped by the deadly fire of the Rebel battery; when more troops were brought up on our side, and the enemy at length flanked and gradually crowded back to the Massaponax; but they still maintained a bold front, and kept up the contest till nightfall; having succeeded in diverting from Reynolds's main attack in front a force which he could ill afford to spare.

Our losses on this bloody day were not less than 15,000 men; though the number returned as actually killed, wounded, and taken prisoners,

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to make preparations for the attempt. In order to guard against disaster, the infantry was to be preceded by artillery, and the movement postponed until late in the evening; so that, if com: pelled to retire, it would be under the cover of night. Owing to unexpected delay, the movement could not be got ready till late in the eve: ning. The first gun had hardly moved forward from the wood a hundred yards, when the enemy's artinery reopened, and so completely swept our front as to satisfy me that, the proposed movement should be abandoned.”

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