1863 - The Bloody Year!

After the debacle at Fredericksburg the men in the Army of the Potomac were discouraged and disheartened. The feeling was no different in the 4th Maine. One night, while in Col Walkers tent, a Maine officer remarked, "I am disgusted with these proceedings. They are all a d----d humbug. I shall resign and leave the service. " Col Walker immediately told the officer that such talk would not be allowed in his tent and if it continued he would have the officer arrested. The officer apologized and served out the remainder of his time with honor.

On 18 January the ground froze solid. It was expected that the 4th Maine would break camp in the afternoon, but this was delayed, much to the relief of the men, who hoped that the movement would be abandoned.

On 20 January the division began moving out at noon. The day was warm but the roads were still frozen. In the evening the 4th Maine arrived at Banks' Ford. The troops to be used to force their way over the river in the morning were hidden in the nearby bushes and woods. Col Walker was given the honor of being the lead in the advance. In the evening rain began to fall and continued throughout the night. Not wanting to alert the enemy not a sound was made and fires were not allowed to be lit. By midnight the rain had become torrential and continued for 12 hours.

On the 21st, as the artillery and wagon trains began to bog down in the mud, regiments were sent to help push and pull them forward. A few pontoon sections were brought to the river during the night but the rest were bogged down. By morning the entire Army was at a standstill, stuck in the mud.

The Army endured these conditions for 3 days and on the 23rd, after efforts to free the artillery and the wagons from the mud, the Army found itself back in the camp it had left on the 20th, not a shot fired in anger at the enemy. The only trace to be seen of their movement was felled trees and dead animals along the route of march.

Burnside's failure did not make him any friends in Washington or within the Army of the Potomac. He went to Washington to demand that 4 generals be dismissed and 3 others, plus a colonel, be removed from the Army of the Potomac. If this was not done he would resign. Bluff or not, his offer to resign was accepted and BG Hooker was promoted to command the Army of the Potomac.

When the Army went into camp in November the countryside was smothered in forests of oak and pine. By the end of February the area had been stripped bare and by this date wood was so scarce that the camp had to be relocated. From its old camp the Army moved nearer to the railroad to Acquina Creek.

During March many different festivities helped to raise spirits in camp. In MG Berry's division a wedding was performed in a large tent, with bridesmaids and groomsmen coming from Washington. The guests included a number of generals. After, MG Sickles gave a ball at his headquarters. MG Birney hosted a tournament that included races with and without hurdles. Many officers took hard falls during these races. The 4th Maine was represented by the LTC, who "...surpassed the field in grand and lofty tumbling and safe alighting in the mud...."

In the first days of April President and Mrs. Lincoln visited with the Army of the Potomac. After the President left, activity in the Army increased greatly. Hooker knew the exact disposition of the Confederate army, as he had been send a spy out for a 32-day period. Hooker had developed two plans to attack the Rebs, with his favorite being one that would have the Army cross the Rappahannock 12-miles below Fredericksburg and force them to attack him or retreat. President did not endorse this plan and adopted the second plan.

On the 14th of April the cavalry left camp to begin the advance against the Rebels. The men were provided with 8 days ration of bread, coffee, sugar, and salt, as well as a 3-day ration of salt pork. The men were also to take an extra shirt, pair of drawers, and a pair of socks. Scheduled to leave during the night a heavy downpour postponed the movement.

Preparations continued until 29 April, when the three Corps crossed the Rapidan, continuing to march towards Chancellorsville. The 6th Corps crossed the Rappahannock 5 miles below Fredericksburg on a bridge of boats. The 1st Corps crossed the river just below the 6th Corps. The 3rd Corps was held in reserve on the other side of the river.

On 30 April the three Corps arrived at Chancellorsville. BG Couch crossed his 2nd Corps, over a pontoon bridge at United States Ford, and joined by the other three Corps by nightfall. The 3rd Corps made a forced march to in the afternoon to Chancellorsville. The Corps crossed over the same bridge that had been used by the 2nd Corps. At this point Hooker's plan was working as he drew it up and all expected to have a resounding victory against the Rebel army.

On 2 May, Berry's division was in reserve, near the Chancellor House, when the assault by Jackson began. Hooker hurried to him and ordered, "General, throw your men into the breach - receive the enemy on your bayonets - don't fire a shot - they can't see you." The Federals were now retreating in disorder and Hooker ordered Berry's division forward to halt the Reb attack. Berry rode forward on his horse to encourage his men, shouting, "Receive em on your bayonets! Receive em on your bayonets!"

Called a promising division commander, Berry was the type of commander that gave orders to his brigade commanders in person. In doing this at Chancellorsville he rode too close to the fighting and was shot from his horse by a Rebel sharpshooter.

At about 7:00 am Berry crossed Plank Road to confer with General Mott, when this general refused to accept an order from Berry's adjutant. Warned of the danger by his staff, Berry felt that he needed to confer with Mott and get this man to follow his orders. After a brief discussion, Berry returned over the open Plank Road. He had almost reached his staff when a shot rang out from a North Carolina sharpshooter hiding in the trees. Struck fatally in the chest Berry fell from his horse as his staff rushed up to him. As they bent over him, Berry was heard to proclaim, "My wife and child!" and then "Carry me off the field." At 7:26 MG Hiram G. Berry breathed his last. One Union general saw this and led his troops out of the battle.

When Hooker rode up, and saw the body of MG Berry, he dismounted from his horse and "approached the dead general, knelt by his side and leaning over with tears in his eyes kissed his forehead and said: 'My God, Berry, why was the man in whom I relied so much to be taken away in this manner? In battle brave as a lion, yet when the chord of friendship was touched be became as tender as a woman, it was always thus, 'The bravest are the tenderest, the loving are the daring.'" Hooker then turned to Berry's staff and said that he lost one of his best officers and warmest friend.

In the history of the 17 Maine it states that Berry was "...shot by a sharpshooter, who must have been up in a tree, while rallying troops to fill a breach in our lines. The bullet passed down through his shoulder and heart, killing him almost instantly. He was carried off the field on his horse, supported by two of his aides, a sad sight to us who fairly idolized him. He was our general, from our own State, and we were justly proud.' The 17th Maine history also states that Hooker cried "O my God, Berry, why wasn't I taken and you left?"

On 6 May the NEW YORK TRIBUNE reported Berry's death saying, "...where the battle raged hottest, noble Berry fell, while urging his troops forward in steady battle." The same paper carried Maj MG Berry's obituary on 7 May saying that he "...fell at the head of his command in the gallant repulse of the Rebel army under Gen Lee, near Chancellorsville."

Lee ordered an attack along his front. The fighting went on amid the glow of the moon, in one of the few night actions of the war. The 4th Maine Regiment was one of the units involved in this fighting.

Hooker ordered Sickles to make a night attack against Jackson's right flank from Hazel Grove. Sickles became lost and ended up fighting other Federal troops near Fairview. He then fell back to Hazel Grove.

The 4th Maine took the lead in the moonlight fighting and was the last unit to cross the bridge in retreat. The 4th Maine lost 1 officer and 2 men killed while 3 officers and 15 men were wounded. A further 7 men went missing.

By 7 May the 4th Maine was in camp near Acquina Creek. The time was spent recovering from the battle. The only duty for the day was to fall in for the Brigade inspector.

The 4th Maine remained in camp, with the rest of the Army. On 19 May three deserters from the 9th Alabama entered the 4th Maine lines, and gave themselves up, in the morning. A Negro in the Confederate army also deserted.

On 21 June the 4th Maine changed its camp to a drier location. There is a cavalry fight near Aldie, and the 4th Maine is put under arms, prepared to assist the cavalry if needed. This fight involved the 1st Maine Cavalry and BG Cilly, of Rockland. The 4th Maine was not needed.

From 22 to 25 June the 4th Maine was on picket duty. There were plenty of horses, cattle and sheep in the area. After having salt pork for so long, many of the men in the regiment provided themselves with mutton. When Col Walker heard that the division general was going to visit the picket line he inspected it, finding the remains of the sheep laying all over the area. Col Walker instructed the men to clean up the mess and asked one captain why so many sheep had been killed. The officer relied, "No sheep can come near this line and live." Col Walker found out that the officer had been supplying officers in other regiments with fresh meat.

On the 25th the 4th Maine began moving again in the morning, crossing the Potomac at Edward's Ferry. After a march of 14 hours the regiment arrived at the mouth of the Monocacy River. It was raining heavily and the men, with shelter and supper, lay down in the mud to sleep.

On the 26th, at 9:00am, the 4th Maine continued on its march and arrived at Point of Rocks at 1:00pm. Remembering his stay here the past September, Col Walker sent a messenger to the hotel landlord and requested him to prepare a dinner for himself and 20 guests. That night 22 officers of the division sat down to a roast beef supper.

On the 27th the 4th Maine resumed the march and went to Middletown. They were now in friendly country and the National Colors could be seen all over the town. Women and children brought the men milk and bread.

On the 28th the 4th Maine arrived at Walkerville. Here the land was rich in crops and fences were still standing, not like the stripped land in Virginia. MG George G. Meade is appointed as commander of the Army of the Potomac. There was a rumor in the army that the appointment was only temporary and that MG McClellan would be given command of the army again. This helped to raise the men's spirits.

On the 29th the 4th Maine marched to Taneytown and encamped two miles from town and on the 30th the 4th Maine marched towards Emmittsburg, PA arriving at 11:00am.

At the start of the battle for Gettysburg the 4th Maine numbered 287 men. Col Elijah Walker commanded the regiment and was replaced by Capt Edwin Libby, of Rockland, during the battle. The 4th was part of the 2nd Brigade, commanded by Brig MG H. J. Hobart Ward, replaced by Col Hiram Berdan. This was under the 1st Division, commanded by Maj MG David G. Birney, replaced by Brig MG Ward. The 3rd Corps was commanded by Maj MG Daniel E. Sickles, replaced by Maj MG Birney.

On 1 July, at 1:00 pm, MG Sickles received and urgent request from BG Howard for help at Gettysburg. The men of the 4th Maine could hear the sound of artillery. Sickles had received other orders but he was not going to let a brother officer go unaided. Leaving two brigades at Emmitsburg, to comply with his other orders, Sickles, at the head of his Corps, marched the 10 miles, through rain and mud, to Gettysburg, arriving that evening.

At 7:00 pm the 4th Maine arrives at Gettysburg. Camp talk said that the Union army had met a superior force of Rebels and had been driven back from Seminary Ridge and through Gettysburg, before making a stand on Cemetery Hill. This was not happy news to the soldiers of the 4th Maine, as it looked like another defeat for the Army. Howard had taken command of the Union force after the death of MG Reynolds and determined that he could not hold the village so he withdrew back to the high ground of Cemetery Hill. Congress later gave Howard a vote of thanks for his actions.

At 9:00pm the 4th Maine was bedding down when Col Walker heard a familiar voice call his name. Col Walker replied, "I am here captain, is it our turn to establish a picket line?" The captain answered, "Yes; it is the order of Gen. Sickles that your regiment establish a picket line, the right to connect with the First corps' pickets, and the left with those of the Second corps."

Col Walker moved the regiment about a 1/2-mile to the front and crossed the Emmittsburg Road and advanced to a rail fence, about 30-40 rods west of the road. Confederate pickets were in the woods, about 30-50 rods to the front. The 4th Maine pickets contacted pickets of the 1st Corps on the left but failed to make contact with the 2nd Corps, only meeting a few of Buford's cavalry scouts on the right. The rebels continued to assemble in the woods throughout the night.

Early the next morning, between 5:00 and 6:00am, a skirmish fire erupted between the pickets when Rebs opened fire on the 4th Maine. Several times the Rebs advanced into the open in front of the 4th Maine. Col Walker reported this to his superiors but was ignored. Twice he was ordered to advance into the woods but he ignored these orders, fearing that his men would be butchered by Reb fire. This continued until 9:00 am when Col Berdan arrived with 250 men and orders to join the 4th Maine and drive into the woods. Berdan had moved 3 Companies from near the Peter Rogers House. Once he was appraised of the true situation Col Berdan agreed that an attack would be foolish. He left to tell their superiors of the situation but at about 9:30 am the Sharpshooters and the 3rd Maine were seen attacking the woods on the flank, as suggested by Col Walker.

From about 10:00 am until 2:30 pm it remained quiet until the 4th Maine was relieved by the 1st Massachusetts. When Sickles repositioned his forces the 4th Maine held the left flank of its Brigade, taking up position on a rocky hill to the right of Devil's Den.

At 1200 pm Ward moved his brigade from the south of George Weikert's farm across Wheatfield Road into the wheat field. These were the first troops into the wheat field. After a pause the Brigade moved to the left and took positions on and near Devil's Den Ridge. The 4th Maine was placed to the left of the 124th New York and behind Smith's 4th New York battery of 10-pound parrot guns.

By 3:00 pm the 4th Maine was in position but hungry, only having water for their past supper, breakfast and dinner. Fires were kindled and a nearby heifer was killed and slaughtered. Soon coffee was made and slices of beef were impaled on stakes and put over fires. The meat was eaten rare, though thoroughly smoked and sprinkled with a little salt that could be found in each soldier's pocket. In the meantime, Hood's division was using concealed roads to sneak up on the Federal left and reached a point about 1300 yards from both the Peach Orchard and Devil's Den. 3:45pm The Rebs advanced out of the woods and opened fire with their artillery. 4:00pm Smith's battery opened fire into the woods on the Emmittsburg Road. Reb artillery returned fire and hit the Devil's Den. Smith's battery could cover Hood's advance but could not depress the guns enough to fire into the Devil's Den and the Plum Run Gorge. Smith placed his two remaining guns in the Plum Run Valley, 150 yards behind the others. Seeking more protection, Smith suggested that the 4th Maine be sent into the woods at the base of Round Top.

Instead, Ward ordered the 4th Maine to deploy in a blocking position across the valley, facing the gorge and Devil's Den. This would leave Smith's battery without support and create a gap in the line about 200 yards wide. Col Walker objected to this but he was assured by the brigade adjutant general that other troops would be sent to protect the battery. Col Walker, still against his judgment, moved the 4th Maine from the rear of Smith's battery to the left and extended across the gorge of Plum Run. BG Ward sent 3 officers and 70 men, probably Company F, into Devil's Den as skirmishers and to add support to LTC Stoughton and his sharpshooters. Another party of skirmishers, under Capt Edwin Libby, was sent to the left, into the trees on Round Tops northwest slope. This was to cover Ward's left and rear. The relocation however, left a gap about 200 yards wide without the benefit of infantry and no support for Smith. Col Walker was told that another unit would move in to plug the hole.

As the battle commenced, Ward's line faced the 1st Texas and 3rd Arkansas, who were to carry the battery. The first struggle was fierce and the 4th Maine was not really involved. The next attack by the Rebs was on Ward's right.

Hood was wounded and command was turned over to Law, who was with his brigade moving on Little Round Top. As he advanced beyond the Plum Run Valley Law noticed that not enough force was being used against Smith's battery. He dispatched the 44th and 48th Alabama to move across the left and attack the battery from the rear. The two Reb regiments then moved to about 200 yards in front of Devil's Den eastern approach. Here they halted in the thin growth in front of the 4th Maine. The two regiments then swung into line facing the gorge. the 44th faced the 4th Maine.

As the 44th and 48th Alabama advanced into the Devil's Den they were stopped about 50 yards short by a deadly volley of fire from the 4th Maine skirmishers, joined by retreating Sharpshooters. These men caused Robertson to split his brigade into two parts and foe Law's brigade to make a detour getting to Little Round Top. Meanwhile, the 4th Maine saw a brigade of blue infantry move across the east slope of Little Round Top, 300 yards to their left. These troops soon threw a skirmish line into the trees on Round Tops slope to the 4th Maine's left front. This was Vincent's brigade. Col Walker correctly assumed that these troops would take care of the wooded slopes but was wrong in thinking they would fill the gap between the 4th Maine the left. After Vincent's arrival Col Walker ordered Capt Libby back to the regiment. Almost immediately a severe fire erupted on this new flank, but the 4th Maine had not been engaged yet.

Soon the Rebs were advancing. Skirmishers from the 2nd Sharpshooters dashed back from Round Top's slope with the news that the Rebs were right behind them. Almost immediately heavy musket fire erupted in front of Vincent's position. A few shots flew around the 4th Maine. Col Walker saw Vincent's skirmishers falling back and thought that the brigade was retreating. Then a column of Reb infantry appeared in the woods. This was the 48th Alabama. The 48th advanced northerly along the sloping sides if Little Round Top, parallel with Plum Run, and passed the 4th Maine positions, exchanging a few compliments.

4:45pm the 44th Alabama emerged from the small pines near Col Walker's left flank. 4th Maine officers refused the left and gave the Rebs a half dozen volleys before fire was returned. The 4th opened fire on the 44th while Col Walker formed his lines, at the same time preparing the 4th Maine to confront the Rebels, using boulders that covered the ground. The 44th Alabama advanced heroically but the 4th Maine was more so. The 44th was stopped and retreated back to the woods. The commander of the 44th later reported that he was trying to get his men into position and lost 1/3 of them before they were adequately formed to return the 4th Maine's fire.

On the 4th Maine's right the 48th Alabama was only 20 paces away and the 4th Maine's fire was severe. The 48th left was in the open, rocky area east of Plum Run and Devil's Den that later became known as the Slaughter Pen. The 48th held its place and the 4th Maine had to fall back a short way to form a new line. Here, the 4th Maine was in the open and continued to be raked by musket fire from the 48th. Whether or not the 4th Maine could hold the valley floor depended upon what happened at Devil's Den.

Sometime past 5:00pm Smith's battery was abandoned. A little farther north another section of the battery was manned for action. At this time a command decision by the Rebs Robertson helped save the Little Round Top for the Union. Benning's brigade, with 4 Georgia regiments, was sent to help Law around the flank where the 20th Maine was now fighting. Robertson asked Benning to use his brigade to help against the 4th Maine. The Rebs wanted to secure possession of a stone fence that started at the summit of the ridge near Smith's battery and ran westerly, affording a complete curtain in front to the wheat field.

Benning did not delay and formed his brigade in a line east and west, and moved forward. The left center was aimed at the battery; the right center towards Devil's Den and the right regiment moving up Plum Run. Benning's left became mixed up with the 1st Texas. As these lines advanced Hazlett's battery of 10-pounders, placed on the summit of Little Round Top, opened fire. As Benning advanced, the two wings of his brigade joined as it reached Smith's battery. The 4th Maine skirmishers, and those that had joined it, were caught unawares and surrounded. They were soon taken prisoner.

The 44th Alabama then rejoined the battle and mixed with Benning's regiment coming up Plum Run. The 4t Maine held them off but Col Walker finally became aware of the danger on his right flank. Col Walker saw the strategic importance of the battery position and quickly drew his small remaining force from the boulders and hastily got it in line, about 100 yards to the rear. As Benning's regiment reached the area of the Battery Col Walker ordered the 4th Maine to fix bayonets and led them in a charge, by the right oblique, up the steep slope and into Smith's vacated gun positions. The Rebs were driven back in fierce fighting.

The 4th Maine was now involved in close quarter fighting at the Devil's Den and Col Walker's horse went down. Col Walker was wounded in the foot. Col Walker refused to be evacuated and remained with the 4th Maine. At one point his sword was wrenched from his hand but his men saved him and the sword recovered. After a five-minute melee the 99th Pennsylvania came into line and swept the Georgians and Alabamians from the ridge. For all this, the ridge did not stay in Federal hands long. Repeated assaults were held off until after 6:00pm. The fighting was often hand to hand. The ground that the 4th Maine fought over was low and wet and became known at the "Valley of Death".

When the order to fall back was given Col Walker could not walk alone. He was saved from capture by Sergeant Mowry of Company B and Corporal Roberts of Company F. Col Walker had fallen into Reb hands and these two broke him free from his captors. These two then carried him back to the rear. After the 4th Maine had fallen back the men surrounded Col Walker, while he tried to get up on a horse that had been found for him. BG Ward came up and asked if he was wounded. Col Walker replied, "Slightly; but if I can get on the horse I can ride." BG Ward answered, "You are hurt more than you think you are and had better go to the rear." Col Walker then turned over what remained of the 4th Maine to Capt Edwin Libby and went to a hospital for treatment.

Sergt Mark Perry, who gave the colonel a blanket to keep warm with, assisted Col Walker onto an ambulance. Col Walker was then taken to a hospital where he sat near the amputation table, watching Surgeon Hildreth, of the 3rd Maine, hard at work.

The 4th Maine flag was pierced 32 times by shot and twice by cannon. The flag was shot and half but Henry O. Ripley never let the flag touch the ground. Ripley escaped the battle untouched, while every other member of the color guard was lost.

At about 2:00am, on 3 July, Col Walker noticed that Surgeon Hildreth was finished with his work so he called him over to him. The surgeon cut off the colonel's boot and dressed the wound and Col Walker rested for the rest of the night. In the morning Col Walker was helped to a horse and he rode to another hospital. From here he was sent to Littleton. Joined by his orderly, Col Walker remounted his horse and set off. After riding for a mile of two the colonel began to feel feint and he was helped into a house by his orderly. The owners of the house, fearing the worst, were packing up their belongings and preparing to leave. The colonel was given a bed of straw, where he slept through the night.

The 4th Maine was in reserve with the rest of the brigade. During Pickett's charge the regiment was moved to the right to support the Second Division, Second Corps. The 4th Maine was ordered into position behind a gun battery but did not see action. Remained here throughout the night.

Col Walker woke refreshed. His orderly hired a farmer and the two of them loaded him into a carryall for the remainder of the trip to Littleton. The orderly left Col Walker in the care of the farmer and returned to the 4th Maine with the horses. This began Col Walker's trip back to Rockland, where he remained for a few months.

On the 4th of July the 4th Maine was ordered advanced to the front on the skirmish line. Two men were wounded at this time. The 4th Maine's losses during the entire battle were 4 officers and 19 men killed, 1 officer and 43 men wounded and 4 officers and 69 men either missing or captured. This amounted to nearly half the regiment.

The 4th Maine then participated in chasing the retreating Rebs and on 23 July was involved in an engagement at Wapping Heights. The 4th Maine marched out at 4:00am and advanced 2 miles to the front. Here they took up positions in front of the 4th Maine Battery, where they remained for two hours. The regiment then deployed 2 miles to the front and deployed as skirmishers. Advancing, they engaged the Rebels and drove them back a mile and a half. After this the regiment remained on picket.

By 5 October Col Walker felt that he had recovered enough to return to the regiment. The colonel left Rockland for Washington, where he reported to the Surgeon General of the Army. He pronounced Col Walker unfit for duty. The Surgeon General offered to put Col Walker up in quarters and prepare to operate on him. Col Walker thought that the Army would be in a quiet camp and said that he would prefer to rejoin his regiment. The Surgeon General agreed to this and verified that all of his leave paperwork was in order.

On 10 October Col Walker left Washington on a train and arrived in Culpepper about 6:00pm. A horse was waiting for him here and he rode to catch up with the regiment, about two miles away. When he arrived he found the regiment expecting to move at any moment. Col Walker did not feel that he could remain with them in this case so she returned to the village, to find it almost empty. Col Walker then followed the regiment to Rappahannock Station, 10 miles away. The colonel was exhausted.

By the 12th Col Walker rejoined the regiment at Freeman's Ford. The men did the best they could to make the colonel a comfortable place to rest. The rest was short-lived however. At 11:00pm the regiment was called to form line and get ready to move. On 14 October the 4th Maine arrived at Greenwich at 1:30am. The 4th Maine was the rear guard and engaged Reb cavalry patrols several times. Once, during the day, enemy cavalry attacked the 3rd Corps advance but were repulsed.

The 4th Maine was allowed to rest for a few hours and then resumed the march again. They crossed Bull Run Creek and arrived at Centreville at 3:00pm. As they were coming to the heights near Centreville cannon fire could be heard coming from Bristow Station. Here BG Warren was attacked by the Rebs and was repulsed with the loss of 5 artillery pieces and 500 prisoners. Lee then had the 25-mile stretch of railroad from Bristow Station to the Rappahannock destroyed.

On the 15th the 4th Maine marched to Fairfax Station. Col Walker was becoming exhausted and his wound became inflamed. It was badly swollen and nearly turned black. The colonel went to BG Birney to ask for a leave of absence but was told that the Army would be quiet for the next few days and that he could stay with the regiment.

MG Sickles returned from his convalescence, he lost a leg at Gettysburg, to resume command of the Corps. MG Meade did not think well of Sickles and did not accept his services, saying that he was not yet fit. When the veterans of Gettysburg heard that their commander was back they formed in double line, without arms, to greet him, BG Birney met him with a wagon and when this appeared a great cheer rose from the throats of the gathered men. As the wagon passed from end of the line to the other, great cheers erupted and flying caps filled the air.



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The Bloody Year - Continued

On 7 November the Army of the Potomac began to follow Meade's orders at daybreak. The right flank, under MG Sedgwick, met heavy resistance but drove off the Rebs, capturing 4 guns and 1500 prisoners. The 5th and 6th Maine had prominent roles in this action.

During the battle of Fredericksburg, in December 1862, Lieut Bourne was killed and the body left to the enemy. During this crossing of the river his sword, inscribed, "G. W. Bourne, 4th Maine", was recaptured by an officer in the 5th Maine. Col Edwards gave the sword to Col Walker, who sent it to Bourne's family in Bangor.

There was less action at Kelley's Ford and Col Walker commanded a brigade during the river crossing. The rebs had seen the Union advance and increased their pickets to about 700 men. When the Union force advanced the pickets entered prepared rifle pits. The Federals had placed some brass cannon, unobserved by the enemy, in the woods above and below the ford and were in such a position, due to a bend in the river, as to rake the rear of the rifle pits with grape and canister. As the Union line advance the cannon fired. Seeing that their avenue of escaped was gone, about 550 Rebs surrendered. The enemy forces entered the fray and de Trobriand's Col Walker's brigades had some heavy action. After the action was over a bridge of boats was made and the Corps crossed over the river. Col Walker sent the 4th Maine to support Randolph's Battery and the regiment crossed the bridge that evening.