On Dec. 28, 1862, Col. John W. Carter, commanding the 13th Regiment at Fredericksburg, wrote the following report to Gen. Barksdale of the regiment’s fight on Dec. 11:
GENERAL: In accordance with your order, I marched my regiment, at about 5 o’clock on the morning of the 11th instant, to the market-house in Fredericksburg, when I was ordered by you to take position on Caroline street, await Lieutenant-Colonel Fiser’s orders , send [his 17th Miss. Regt] reinforcements whenever he called on me to do so, and, should he be unable to hold his position, then, in that event, to withdraw my regiment to the market-house.
I accordingly took position on Caroline street, immediately in rear of the position occupied by Lieutenant-Colonel Fiser, and opened communication with him, where I remained until about 4 p.m., under a very heavy and destructive fire from the batteries of the enemy on the opposite side of the river. About 4 p.m. Lieutenant-Colonel Fiser asked me for 10 men to act as sharpshooters, which I promptly sent him. About 4 p.m. Lieutenant-Colonel Fiser sent to me for two companies, which I was proceeding with when I met him retiring with his command to the market-house, being unable to hold his position longer.
I immediately formed my regiment, and withdrew it to the market-house, when I was ordered by you to form in the next street (toward the river) and engage the enemy. But before I could do so, I ascertained that the enemy occupied the street on which I was ordered to form, and was advancing. I immediately disposed of my regiment on the street which I then occupied [Princess Anne], so as to command as many streets running at right angles with the river as I possibly could, and engaged the enemy at once, driving him toward the river, after a spirited engagement of two hours.
Having fired the last gun at the retreating enemy, I was then ordered to withdraw my regiment from the town, which order I promptly obeyed. The enemy’s loss, after crossing the river, in the engagement with my regiment, is estimated to be over 200 killed and wounded. I refer you to the report already furnished you of the loss which we sustained.
Capt. J.L. Clark [of the Spartan Band] was killed by a solid shot early in the morning. He was a promising young officer. Capt. [Thomas] W. Thurman [of the Newton Rifles] was dangerously wounded later in the day, fell in the hands of the enemy, and, in all probability, is dead. Lieut. [John] M. Stovall [of the Kemper Legion] is missing, and is supposed to be killed.
I wish to call your attention to the gallant and meritorious conduct of Capt. [George LaValle] Donald [of the Secessionists]. who had immediate command of several companies, which did fine execution, without sustaining serious loss. I wish also to make mention of the coolness, bravery and soldier-like conduct of both officers and enlisted men of my command.
Thirteenth Mississippi Regiment.