Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

Post image for Fredericksburg.–Reports of and relating to  Brigadier General Elisha Franklin Paxton.

Fredericksburg.–Reports of and relating to Brigadier General Elisha Franklin Paxton.

December 24, 2012

Elisha Franklin Paxton – Letters from camp and field while an officer in the Confederate Army

The following extracts were taken from the official records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Vol. XXI,—Fredericksburg:


Report Of Brig.-Gen. E. F. Paxton, C. S. Army,

Commanding First Brigade


Hdqrs. Paxton’s Brigade, Jackson’s Division,
Camp near Corbin’s Farm, December 24,1862.

Captain: In pursuance of the order from division commander to report the participation of my brigade in the battle near Fredericksburg, I have the honor to state that my brigade, consisting of Second, Fourth, Fifth, Twenty-seventh, and Thirty-third Virginia Regiments and Joseph Carpenter’s battery, numbering in all about 123 officers and 1100 men, marched from its encampment, near Guiney’s Depot, on Friday morning, the 12th inst., at daybreak. After reaching the battle-field and making frequent changes of position, when the engagement commenced my brigade occupied a position near the crest of the hill some four hundred yards in the rear of General Gregg’s brigade of A. P. Hill’s division, my right resting on the left of Ewell’s division. My orders were to support General Gregg, and be governed in my actions by his movements. Upon a report from my orderly, Mr. F. C. Cox, whom I had sent forward to obtain information, that Gregg’s battery was moving, I ordered my brigade to the front in line of battle. About the time of reaching General Gregg’s position, the Second Virginia Regiment, occupying the right of my line, came in view of the enemy, and under the order of Capt. J. Q. A. Nadenbusch, commanding the regiment, filed obliquely to the right and rear, but scarcely effected its change of position when it was fired upon by the enemy. Expecting, from the indications, that my troops would be engaged in this position, I proceeded to bring forward the Fifth and Fourth Regiments at double-quick and post them upon the right of the Second, and to put the Twenty-seventh and the Thirty-third Regiments in position upon its left. These dispositions, however, were not accomplished until the firing ceased, the enemy having been gallantly repulsed by the Second Regiment. Soon after I changed my position and occupied the military road. While there I found that troops were falling back in disorder past the right of my line, when I deemed it prudent to move some three hundred yards to the right upon the road, to guard against an advance of the enemy in that direction. Again I changed position and occupied the line of the fence in front.

That night my brigade slept on their arms on the military road, and the next morning, before daylight, in pursuance of an order from the division commander, took position on the railroad, my right resting opposite the position which my left had occupied on the military road. Here the day passed off quietly, with the exception of occasional firing between the pickets.

Carpenter’s battery was detached from my brigade on the 12th inst. and was not under my orders during the engagement. A report of its participation in the engagement, by Lieutenant (George) McKendree, commanding, is transmitted herewith.

I am much indebted to my regimental officers—Captain Nadenbusch and (R. T.) Colston, acting field officers of the Second Virginia Regiment; Lieutenant-Colonel (R. D.) Gardner, and Major (William) Terry, Fourth Virginia Regiment; Lieutenant-Colonel (H. J.) Williams and Captain J. W. Newton, Fifth Virginia Regiment; Lieutenant-Colonel (James K.) Edmondson and Major (D. M.) Shriver, Twenty-seventh Virginia Regiment; and Colonel (Edwin G.) Lee, Thirty-third Virginia Regiment —for the exhibition of great gallantry, skill and coolness in the discharge of their duties.

Lieutenant-Colonel Gardner, after having passed unhurt and distinguished for his gallantry through all the battles of the campaign,—Port Republic, Richmond, Cedar Mountain, Manassas, and Sharpsburg,—fell, at the head of his regiment, severely, if not fatally, wounded.

To Adjt. C. S. Arnall, Fifth Virginia Regiment, acting as my assistant adjutant-general, the highest praise is due for his gallant and energetic discharge of the duties incident to the position.

To the rank and file of my command I am especially grateful for the courage, fidelity and promptness exhibited in obeying my orders. My brigade sustained a loss of killed, 4; wounded, 69; missing, 1. Total, 74.

The reports of regimental and battery commanders, with list of casualties, are transmitted herewith.


No. 327, P. 675. Report Op Brig.-Gen. Wm. B. Taliaferro, C. S. Army, Commanding Jackson’s Division


Headquarters Jackson’s Division,
Camp near Moss Neck, Va., December 24,1862

Captain: In conformity with the order of Lieutenant-General commanding, I have the honor to report the operations of this division on the 13th and 14th instant, before Fredericksburg. On the morning of the 12th … I posted Paxton’s and Starke’s (Pendleton’s) brigades in rear of Gregg’s and Thomas’ of Hill’s division, and held Taliaferro’s and Jones’ brigades in reserve. . . . Early on the morning of the 13th . . . General Paxton, finding that our troops were giving back to the right of Gregg’s brigade, and the enemy advancing beyond the front line through a gap which fronted a boggy wood supposed to be inaccessible to the enemy, moved his brigade to the right and engaged with two of his regiments the enemy, who had penetrated to the military road, but who were retiring by the time he reached that point. He then pushed forward to the front, and occupied for the rest of the day the front line at that place. … I take pleasure in stating that officers and men behaved admirably, displaying coolness and courage under fire, and changing positions without any disorder or confusion. I would particularly mention Brigadier-Generals Jones and Paxton. … I enclose a list of killed and wounded, amounting to 190.


No. 321, P. 663. Report Of Brig.-Gen. Jubal A. Early,
Commanding Ewell’s Division


Headquarters Ewell’s Division,

December 27, 1862.

Captain: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of this division in the action of the 13th instant, near Fredericksburg. . . .

Seeing this brigade falling back, I halted it on the hill in the woods immediately in the rear of the place at which it had first met the enemy, and caused it to be reformed under the command of Col. C. A. Evans of the Thirty-first Georgia Regiment; and fearing that the enemy might follow through the same interval with a fresh column, I sent to General D. H. Hill for reenforcements, and he sent two brigades forward. Before, however, they arrived, Brigadier-General (E. F.) Paxton of General (W. B.) Taliaferro’s division had filled the interval left open by the falling back of this brigade by promptly moving his own brigade into it.

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