Gregg's brigade was at once thrown in line of battle, and the skirmishers directed to effect a lodgment. Andrews's battery was brought up, and the woods opposite vigorously shelled. The skirmishers, rushing forward, cleared the crossing, and Gregg immediately filed his brigade across, forming line successively as each regiment crossed. His whole brigade being over, he made the handsomest charge, in line, I have seen during the war. The enemy were pressed, and the general sent me word that he had brought the enemy to bay, and that they were in force in his front, and requested permission to attack. This was refused, however, and he was directed to await orders from me. Branch was ordered up, and formed on Gregg's right. Pender having cleared my right flank, to which service he had been assigned, Archer was sent to relieve him, thus putting him (Archer) on my extreme right. Anderson was formed on Branch's right, and Field again on his right, and connecting with Archer. Crenshaw and Johnson were brought into battery on the left of the road, and in rear of Gregg's line. I had delayed the attack until I could hear from General Longstreet, and, this now occurring, the order was given. This was about half past 2 P. M. Gregg, then Branch, and then Anderson, successively, became engaged. The incessant roar of musketry and deep thunder of the artillery told that the whole force of the enemy was in my front. Branch becoming hard pressed, Pender was sent to his relief. Field and Archer were also directed to do their part in this murderous contest. Braxton's artillery, accompanying Archer, had already opened. They were ordered to turn the enemy's left. These two brigades, under their heroic leaders, moving across the open field, met the enemy behind an abatis and strong intrenchment at the base of a long wooded hill, the enemy being in three lines on the side of this declivity, its crest falling off into a plateau, and this plateau studded with guns. My front now presented a curved line, its convexity toward the enemy. Desperate but unavailing attempts were made to force the enemy's position. The Fourteenth South Carolina, Colonel McGowan, (having hurried up from picket duty on the other side of the Chickahominy, and arriving in the thick of the fight,) on the extreme left, made several daring charges. The Sixteenth North Carolina, Colonel McElroy, and Twenty-second, Lieutenant-Colonel Gray, at one time carried the crest of the hill, and were in the enemy's camp, but were driven back by over-whelming numbers. The Thirty-fifth Georgia, Colonel Thomas, also drove through the enemy's lines like a wedge ; but it was all of no avail. Gregg and Branch fought with varying success, Gregg having before him the vaunted Zouaves and Sykes's regulars. Pender's brigade was suffering heavily, but stubbornly held its own. Field and Archer met a withering storm of bullets, but pressed on to within a short distance of the enemy's works; but the storm was too fierce for such a handful of men. They recoiled, and were again pressed to the charge, but with no better success. These brave men had done all that any brave soldiers could do. Directing their men to lie down, the fight was continued, and help awaited. From having been the attacking I now became the attacked, but stubbornly, gallantly was the ground held. My division was thus engaged full two hours before assistance was received. We failed to carry the enemy's lines, but we paved the way for the successful attack afterward, and in which attacks it was necessary to employ the whole of our army that side the Chickahominy. About four o'clock, reenforcements came up on my right from General Longstreet, and later, Jackson's men on my right and centre, and my division was relieved of the weight of the contest. It was then continued on more equal terms; and finally the extreme left of the enemy's line was most gallantly carried by Hood. About seven o'clock, the General-in-Chief, in person, gave me an order to advance my whole line, and to communicate this order as far as I could to all commanders of troops. This was done, and a general advance being made, the enemy were swept from the field, and the pursuit only stopped by nightfall and the exhaustion of our troops. The batteries of Crenshaw, Johnson, Braxton, and Pegram were actively engaged. Crenshaw pretty well knocked to pieces. Pegram with indomitable energy and eagerness of purpose, though having lost forty-seven men and many horses at Mechanicsville, had put his battery in condition for this fight also. Frazier's farm. Sunday, the twenty-ninth, having been placed under the orders of Major-General Longstreet, I recrossed the Chickahominy, Longstreet's division leading. On Monday, thirtieth, arrived within about one mile of the cross made by the Long Bridge road and the Quaker road, near Frazier's farm. The enemy were retreating along the Quaker road. My division was halted, my field hospitals established, and brigades closed up. The division of General Longstreet, now commanded by Brigadier-General R. H. Anderson, was in line of battle some three quarters of a mile in advance of mine. The staff officer of General Longstreet at this time delivered me an order to take the command on the field. I did so, and reporting to General Anderson that such was the case, we rode over the ground and made such dispositions as were necessary. Before the battle opened, General Longstreet returned and resumed the command. The fight commenced by fire from the enemy's artillery, which swept down the road, and from which his Excellency the President narrowly escaped accident. The battle had continued some little time, when I received an order from General Longstreet, through Captain Fairfax, to send a brigade to the left, to the support of Generals Pryor, Featherstone, and others. General Gregg was detached on this service and guided by Captain Fairfax. The fire
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Foreign accounts of the fight.
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