|Report on the actions of
The 15th Mass. during Battle of Chancellorsville:
HDQRS. 15th REGIMENT MASSACHUSETTS VOLS.
CAMP NEAR FALMOUTH, VA., May 7, 1863.
Excerpted from "The War of Rebellion", the official Army records of the American Civil War.
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to report that at 11 o'clock on the night of the 2d instant, I received orders to have my command in complete readiness to move at a moment's notice, with muskets loaded. At about midnight, the regiment took the position assigned it (at the head of the column), and marched to the rear of the Lacy house, opposite the city of Fredericksburg, and remained at rest until sunrise. The call for 25 volunteers for special service was promptly met and the men furnished.
Soon after sunrise, the regiment marched, left in front, across the pontoon bridge into the city of Fredericksburg, and stacked arms in a street running parallel with the river, and to the right of the city. From this position the regiment marched to the right, across an open plain, commanded by the earthworks of the enemy. The enemy now opened upon the column with their artillery with very accurate aim, but the men marched steadily and without disorder, although shells were bursting directly above their heads. My command marched as far to the right as it was possible to go, as a bridge, which crossed the canal at this point, had been destroyed. Remained in line of battle awaiting orders, the men having excellent cover. Two companies were ordered forward to feel the enemy, and, having discovered the position and force of the enemy, returned without loss, although several shots were fired at them.
Upon the evacuation of the rifle-pits by the enemy, caused by the success of our forces on the left, I was ordered to return to the city, and recrossed the before-mentioned plain, again under artillery fire. Marched through the city and to the heights beyond, just occupied by our forces. After a short rest, ordered to return to the city and await orders.
At 3.30 p.m. ordered to recross the river and support a battery which was placed in position to protect the upper pontoon bridge. My command has remained in this position until date, awaiting further orders.
The loss sustained by my regiment was very slight, being but 2 men slightly wounded. Some prisoners were captured by my men and sent to headquarters. No property was lost save that belonging to the wounded men, and nothing captured from the enemy.
The officers and men of my command behaved well, both on the march and under fire, and at the close of the day no men were absent or unaccounted for.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. C. JOSLIN,
Major, Commanding Fifteenth Massachusetts Volunteers.