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Colonel Joseph Snider at Fredericksburg

Snider's gallantry at the Battle of Fredericksburg on December 13, 1862, was noted by many, including his brigade commander, General Nathan Kimball, and his division commander, General William H. French. The latter reported:

"...and Colonel Snider, Seventh [West] Virginia, were struck down while exhibiting an example of intrepidity under a murderous fire."

"The list of killed and wounded of my division is the evidence of where it was. Officers and men nobly did their duty under circumstances such as few battle-fields have ever presented."

Lieutenant Colonel J. H. Lockwood assumed command of the regiment after Colonel Snider was wounded. He reported:

"Near noon on the 13th, pursuant to orders from General Kimball, the Seventh Regiment was ordered to form on the right of the brigade (the Fourth and Eighth Ohio having been sent to the front as skirmishers), and to be in readiness to move forward to their support. The line thus formed consisted of the Seventh West Virginia, Twenty-fourth and Twenty-eighth New Jersey, and Fourteenth Indiana.

About 12 o'clock the entire line was put in motion, moving by the right flank through the town. By order of Colonel Snider, of the Seventh West Virginia, I took command of the right wing, General Kimball having furnished me a guide to direct me at the head of the column on the route contemplated, and as soon as we had crossed the canal I filed the head of the line to the right, carrying it sufficiently in that direction to cover the right of the skirmishers under Lieutenant- Colonel Sawyer, of the Eighth Ohio.

Our line of battle being formed, we moved up briskly over a distance of some 80 rods, under a most galling fire from the enemy's rifle-pits and batteries in front, and a most terrible enfilading fire from his batteries to the right. Colonel Snider having been wounded before the line of battle was formed, I assumed command, and brought my regiment in good order on the line of the skirmishers, when, being in easy range of heavy forces of the enemy, concealed under good cover, my men suffered severely, but returned the enemy's fire promptly and with effect.

A flank movement being attempted on our right, by order of Colonel Mason, Lieutenant-Colonel Sawyer and I moved our men in that direction, with orders to hold the ground at all hazards, which we did for a long time, when, our cartridges being exhausted, we stood for some time with fixed bayonets to dispute any charge or assault upon our position. We were also to hold ourselves in readiness to charge the enemy with bayonets so soon as a charge along the line commenced, or orders to that effect were received.

Between 4 and 5 o'clock we were withdrawn, by order of Colonel Mason, reporting to him in the margin of Fredericksburg.

Our loss in killed, wounded, and missing was 51,* a full report of which has previously been forwarded.

Among the wounded, I regret to mention Colonel Snider, Captain Watson, Lieutenant Detrick, and Lieutenant Pritchett. My officers and men behaved with admirable coolness and bravery, and deserve well of their country." (OR, Series I, Volume 21)

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