arms, accoutrements, and ammunition, medical stores, and articles of private property which had been destroyed in wasteful profusion. On passing down the Williamsburg road, I saw, to the right, a very large camp, or camps, to which roads had been cut through the woods, and toward which large bodies of men had lately passed. I sent a reconnoitring party to explore the grounds; they returned, and reported the place entirely deserted. The night and early morning, after the battle, was passed in collecting and attending to the wounded, and burying the dead. General Magruder was near the scene of action, and from him, during the day, and after the engagement, my general instructions, as to the advance, was received. Lieutenant Barry, of the artillery, had been, for some days previous, placed in charge of a thirty-two pound rifle gun, mounted on a rail car, and protected from cannon shot by a sloping roof in front, covered with plates of iron, (through which a port-hole had been pierced,) and from rifle shot on the sides by thick walls of wood, lined with iron. His battery moved down the road keeping pace with the advance of the troops, and by his fire annoying the enemy whenever the range would allow. His enthusiasm at the decided success of the experiment, and in pushing through obstructions, deserves all praise. For the details of the battle, and the many deserving instances of individual merit, I respectfully call your attention to the accompanying reports of brigade and regimental commanders, and to Captain Kemper's report of his operations. It is but proper to remark upon the dashing manner in which Captain (now Major) Kemper fought his battery. It was cheering to the whole command to see and hear his very rapid firing. The morning following the engagement of the twenty-ninth, the troops were ordered to be in readiness to move forward, and had commenced the movement, when other orders were received, to cross over to the Darbytown road, my command leading. Some confusion occurred, owing to the want of guides, which being corrected, the column moved on and reached the neighborhood of “Timberlake's Store” about one o'clock P. M. It was there delayed by the rear of General A. P. Hill's division blocking the road. While resting at “Timberlake's Store,” an order was given to move to “New Market.” General Semmes was sent with his brigade by the main road, protecting the artillery, and I went with General Kershaw's brigade, across the country, by a road which was reported as impracticable for wagons and artillery, and arrived at Warren's Hill about six o'clock P. M. While waiting there the arrival of General Semmes's brigade and directions as to encampments, another order was given, through Colonel Carey, to march my command down the river road to a position he would point out, said to be a place designated by Colonel Chilton. On the way down I met General Wise, who contended there must be some mistake about the place, as the one spoken of by Colonel Carey was entirely exposed to the gunboats. While this discussion was going on, another officer from General Magruder rode up, and stated it was the General's orders to move down the Long Bridge road, which was done. General Semmes's brigade had never reached New Market with the artillery, but had been diverted and placed in the woods to the right of the Long Bridge road. My command had been marching all day, and General Magruder allowed me to halt it on reaching him, which was one mile down the Long Bridge road. At that time it was nearly dark. General Semmes came up and reported that a portion of his command, and all but one of his staff, had been separated from him in the thick woods where he had been posted. We remained in the road several hours, waiting until Jones's division and Cobbs's had passed. We then moved on, receiving orders that Lieutenant Phillips, of General Magruder's staff, would post the brigades. About two o'clock, arrived near the battle-field of the day before, and, after examining the ground as well as could be done in the dark, I posted General Kershaw's brigade on the right of the road, holding General Semmes's in reserve along the road. My command was completely exhausted, not having had anything to eat; had been heavily engaged the evening previous; had passed the night and early morning in attending to the wounded, and collecting and burying the dead, and had been on the march for about twenty hours. After resting but an hour or two, the lines were formed, and moved to the front, on the right of the road. After going but a short distance beyond the Willis Church, on the Quaker road, an order was given to recall the command, and, as I understood it, General Magruder's forces were to join on to the right of General Jackson's, which was at the time skirmishing with the enemy to our right. General Magruder directed me to bring up the rear, which I did, marching behind General Magruder's division. Arriving at the road, in front of Carter's field, General Longstreet ordered me to move by the left flank and join my command, to the right of General Jackson's, going down a road, which passed around Carter's field, to the battle-ground, (Crew's farm,) directing me first to reconnoitre the ground. On going down the road I found the position I was to occupy held by brigades of General Huger! I informed General Longstreet of the fact, and he directed me to remain where I was for the present. Arrangements being made to open fire with our batteries in front, I was directed to place my command out of the line of the fire, which would be returned by the enemy in response to our batteries. General Magruder shortly afterward came back with the head of his column, and, passing by Carter's house, went into the woods beyond. My command was ordered to positions to the right and left of Carter's house about half past 4 o'clock P. M. About six o'clock P. M., they were ordered to the front, advancing one on the right flank of the field and the other on the left, separated four or five hundred yards, and entirely out of sight of each other. They were carried to the point from which they were to advance by
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Foreign accounts of the fight.
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