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[341] P. M. Loss, one killed and three wounded, in Seventh South Carolina regiment. On the twenty-eighth, remained in camp. The works of the enemy were occupied by them in force. On the twenty-ninth, two regiments of General Kershaw's brigade, South Carolina volunteers, ordered forward at all early hour. One regiment, Kennedy's, being on reserve, supporting the pickets, had sent out companies to reconnoitre, and finding the enemy's works deserted, the whole regiment occupied the lines most advanced toward ours. The remaining regiments of the brigade, being ordered onward, joined that of Colonel Kennedy, and the whole brigade, under General Kershaw, went forward and took position beyond Fair Oaks Station, in the woods to the right of the railroad, keeping their skirmishers well to the front.

This brigade was in advance of all other troops, and waited their arrival. The enemy were seen crossing the railroad, about a mile, or less, in front, coming from the woods on our left; but it being understood that General Jackson's forces were crossing at Grapevine Bridge, every one was very much concerned, fearing that we would become engaged with them. So much was General Kershaw impressed with that idea, that he withheld the fire of his troops, and sent a regimental flag down the railroad, waving it in order to give notice of the presence of confederate forces. General Semmes's brigade, in the mean while, came up along the railroad, and was halted behind the works about Fair Oaks Station.

The enemy had opened a scattering fire from several pieces, which, however, did no harm to my command. General Magruder, having arranged his forces on the left, ordered that General Semmes's brigade should move to Kershaw's position, and Kershaw to advance.

General Huger's forces, or a portion of them, were seen at this time, coming toward my right flank: they soon, however, retired, going in the direction of the Charles City road. Their purpose I did not understand. This was about three o'clock P. M. General Kershaw now advanced his brigade, leaving his left on the railroad, supported by that of General Semmes. Kemper's battery, as it came down the Nine Mile road, was ordered forward, supported by the Tenth Georgia, Colonel Cumming. The brigade advanced in two lines, Semmes receiving orders to cross the Williamsburg road with his right. Not long after passing the junction of the Nine Mile and the Williamsburg roads, the enemy opened fire from a battery on our right, which was replied to with such effect by Kemper's battery, that the enemy retired without engaging with their infantry.

Kershaw, continuing the march, relieving the Tenth Georgia from the support of his battery, engaged the enemy with his whole force-Semmes's brigade resting immediately behind, and extending well to the right. Kemper's battery, taking position on the right of the Williamsburg road, upon elevated ground, opened fire with extraordinary rapidity and great effect. Finding that Kershaw's right was being outflanked by the enemy, I ordered in two regiments from Semmes's brigade, and afterward the whole remaining force, which effectually prevented the design. Our troops and those of the enemy were in very close proximity; so much so, that at one time the order was given, by some commanders, to cease firing, they being fearful that we were engaged with our own men. One of the enemy attempted to seize the flag of the Tenth Georgia, but was immediately knocked down and killed. Some one hundred of the command were thrown into momentary confusion, and were retiring; but, with the assistance of my staff, they were immediately rallied, and returned to their companies.

As all of my force was now engaged, I sent to General Magruder for reenforcements. I did so because I wished for a reserve, principally to provide against contingencies. He sent me the Thirteenth Mississippi, which was posted in rear of the line of battle, on the right of the Williamsburg road. It was not brought into action. When all my command were engaged, I had ordered a battery to the right, in a commanding position, to open fire if it could be done without injuring our troops, and to give assistance in case of disaster. As night advanced, it became so dark that the firing ceased on both sides, the South Carolina brigade remaining in the position it occupied in advance, and Semmes's brigade just in rear of its line of battle.

The engagement was commenced by an exceedingly severe and rapid shelling from the enemy's batteries, at five and a half P. M., and lasted until near nine--about three hours.

The South Carolina brigade carried into action fourteen hundred and ninety-six (1496) men, and lost, in killed, forty-seven; wounded, two hundred and thirty-four; and missing, nine. Aggregate, two hundred and ninety men.

Semmes's brigade — force actually engaged, Tenth Georgia, Fifth Louisiana, and Tenth Louisiana, seven hundred and fifty-five (755) men — lost, in killed, eleven; wounded, fifty-three. Aggregate, sixty-four men.

Aggregate of both brigades, three hundred and fifty-four killed, wounded, and missing.

I beg leave to call attention to the gallantry, cool, yet daring, courage and skill in the management of his gallant command, exhibited by Brigadier-General Kershaw; to the cool courage and knowledge of his duties, exhibited by General Semmes. Major McIntosh, the chief of my staff, exhibited that self-possession under fire, and disposition to be under fire, so characteristic of his name, his relations in the old army of the United States, and our own.

I call attention to gallant conduct of Captain King and Lieutenant Tucker, my Aides-de-camp; Major Goggin, Inspecting Officer; Major Mc-Laws, Quartermaster, and Major Edwards, Chief Commissary, who were actively engaged in carrying out my orders, and giving me information as to the movements of our own and the enemy's forces.

In passing to the front, our advance was through the deserted camps of the enemy, where property of great value had been left, consisting of tents,


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