as the enemy was in force in front as well as to the left of Fort Magruder.
About five o'clock General Early
sent an officer to report that a battery, that had been firing upon Fort Magruder and the troops near it, was near in his front, and asked permission to attack it. The message was delivered to General Longstreet
in my presence, and he referred it to me. I authorized the attempt, but enjoined caution in it. Early
's brigade advanced in two equal detachments, commanded, one by Major-General Hill
, and the other by himself.
They were separated in a thick wood, and General Early
, in issuing from it, found a redoubt near and in front of him. He attempted an assault, in which he was severely wounded, after which his two regiments were quickly defeated, with a loss of nearly four hundred men.
In the mean time Longstreet
had driven the enemy before him, out of the open ground, which there extends a mile from the position of our rear-guard, where it began.
This terminated what deserved to be called an action; although firing of field-pieces and skirmishing were continued until after sunset, without attempt, on the Federal
part, to recover the lost ground.
The remainder of the afternoon and the evening were devoted to burying the dead and providing for the comfort of our wounded, who, with many of those of the Federal
army, who had been captured, were placed in hospitals and private residences in Williamsburg
's and Hill
's divisions slept on the field.
The Confederate loss was about twelve hundred