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[327] ascent of the hill, his division became warmly engaged with the enemy. For two hours, assailed in front and flank by superior numbers, without reinforcements, Colonel Seymour, then commanding, having fallen, the Eighth brigade was drawn from the field, but the line was still held by a portion of General Trimble's. The Fifth Texas and a part of the Hampton Legion now came to his support and rendered important service in holding the enemy in check until the arrival of General Lawton, of Jackson's division, enabled him to assume the offensive. Lawton, after aiding in clearing the front, wheeled a part of his brigade to the right, attacked the enemy in flank, and opened the way for the remainder of Trimble's brigade, which advanced to the field beyond the woods. General Ewell's troops having now exhausted their own ammunition, and in many cases such as they could gather from the dead and wounded, and having been engaged for more than four hours, the most of them withdrew from the field about dusk.

The four brigades of Jackson's division did not act together during the engagement, but were called to separate fields of service. In pursuance of the order to charge the enemy's front, the First Virginia brigade, commanded by General C. S. Winder, moved forward through the swamp, and, upon emerging into the open field, its ranks, broken by the obstacles encountered, were re-formed. Meeting at that point with the Hampton Legion, First Maryland, and Twelfth Alabama, Fifty-second Virginia, and Thirty-eighth Georgia, they were formed upon his line. Thus formed, they moved forward under the lead of that gallant officer, whose conduct here was marked by the coolness and courage which distinguished him on the battle-fields of the Valley. The enemy met this advance with spirit and firmness. His well-directed artillery and heavy musketry, played with destructive effect upon our advancing line. Nothing daunted by the fall of officers and men thinning their ranks at every step, these brave men moved steadily forward, driving the enemyfrom point to point, until he was finally driven from his last position, some three hundred yards beyond McGee's house, when night prevented further pursuit.

In the charge near McGee's house, Colonel Allen, of the Second Virginia infantry, fell, at the head of his regiment.

Five guns, numerous small-arms, and many prisoners, were among the fruits of this rapid and resistless advance.

General Reynolds and an officer of his staff, who lingered on this side of the river, after the Federal troops had crossed over, were among the number of prisoners. The Second brigade, by request of General Wilcox, was removed to a point of woods about half a mile from the river. When it reached there, the enemy had already been repulsed at that point by a flank movement of Brigadier-General R. H. Anderson. The Third brigade was sent to support General Whiting's attack upon the enemy's left, but reached there only in time to witness the evidence of a bloody triumph, and the guns of the enemy in possession of the gallant Texas brigade. Colonel S. V. Fulkerson, commanding the brigade, fell, mortally wounded, shortly after his arrival on the spot. General Lawton, of the Fourth brigade, after rendering timely and important support, before described, to General Ewell's command, pressed to the brow of the hill, driving the enemy before him, and cooperating in that general charge, late in the evening, that closed the labors of the day. On my extreme right, General Whiting advanced his division through the same dense forest and swamp, emerging from the wood into the field near the public road, and at the head of the deep ravine which covered the enemy's left. Advancing thence, through a number of retreating and disordered regiments, he came within easy range of the enemy's fire, who, concealed in an open wood, and protected by breastworks, poured a destructive fire, for a quarter of a mile, into his advancing line, under which many brave officers and men fell. Dashing on with unfaltering step, in the face of those murderous discharges of canister and musketry, General Hood and Colonel Law, at the heads of their respective brigades, rushed to the charge with a yell. Moving down a precipitous ravine, leaping ditch and stream, clambering up a difficult ascent, and exposed to an incessant and deadly fire from the intrenchments, these brave and determined men pressed forward, driving the enemy from his well selected and fortified position.

In this charge, in which upward of a thousand men fell, killed and wounded, before the fire of the enemy, and in which fourteen pieces of artillery and nearly a regiment were captured, the Fourth Texas, under the lead of General Hood, was the first to pierce these strongholds and seize the guns. Although swept from their defences by this rapid and almost matchless display of daring and desperate valor, the well-disciplined Federals continued, in retreat, to fight with stubborn resistance. Apprehensive, from their superior numbers and sullen obstinacy, that the enemy might again rally, General Whiting called upon General Longstreet for reinforcements. He promptly sent forward General R. H. Anderson's brigade, which came in gallant style to his support, and the enemy were driven to the lower part of the plateau.

The shouts of triumph which rose from our brave men as they, unaided by artillery, had stormed this citadel of their strength, were promptly carried from line to line, and the triumphant issue of this assault, with the well-directed fire of the batteries, and successful charges of Hill and Winder upon the enemy's right, determined the fortunes of the day. The Federals, routed at every point, and aided by the darkness of the night, escaped across the Chickahominy.

During the earlier part of the action the artillery could not be effectively used. At an advanced stage of it, Major Pelham, of Stuart's horse artillery, boldly dashed forward and opened on the Federal batteries posted on the left of


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