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[358] not cooperate with him, as he had been ordered to other important duty. Thus the forces, which General Lee had left to operate against the enemy being reduced from some thirty-five or forty thousand to some thirteen thousand men, I was compelled to abandon the plan of capturing any large portion of the enemy's forces, and directed that Semmes's brigade (McLaws's division) should be placed on the Williamsburg road, and Cobb's on the left of the railroad, in line with Kershaw's, Jones's division being on the extreme left, and Barksdale's brigade marching in reserve behind the centre. I ordered the whole to move to the front, and each commander to attack the enemy in whatever force or works he might be found. This was executed promptly and in beautiful order, though the ground was difficult and the wood dense. Kershaw's brigade soon became engaged with the enemy, who took refuge in the works on the Williamsburg road, from which he was driven in gallant style by the infantry advance, and by the excellent artillery practice of Kemper's battery. Retreating from work to work, pursued by our line, which swept through his camps, with little interruption, the enemy was at last driven as far as Savage's Station, where a strong line of battle was formed ready to receive us. He also occupied the wood in front of the station. Here Kershaw's brigade engaged him frankly and furiously, and was gallantly supported by Kemper's battery and Semmes's brigade on his right. Taking my position on the railroad bridge, which commanded a good view of the fight and of the enemy's line of battle, I directed the railroad battery, commanded most efficiently by Lieutenant Barry, to advance to the front so as to clear, in some degree, the deep cut over which the bridge was thrown, and to open his fire upon the enemy's masses below, which was done with terrible effect. The enemy soon brought the fire of his artillery and infantry to bear upon the railroad battery and bridge, whilst he advanced a heavy line of infantry to support the troops already engaged, to capture our artillery and turn our right flank. General McLaws, finding himself pressed, sent for reenforcements. I despatched at once two regiments of Griffith's (now Barksdale's) brigade, the Seventeenth regiment, Colonel Holder, and the Twenty-first regiment, Colonel Humphries. These were gallantly led into action--Major Brent, of my staff, bearing the order. Soon, by their steadiness and excellence of fire, as attested by the number of dead found in their front the next morning, they checked the enemy, who were repulsed by the whole line on the right with great slaughter. The enemy having sent still additional troops to sustain the fight, I directed Colonel Barksdale to move to the support of our right with his remaining force. They were placed in reserve under cover of a wood, where a few men were wounded from the long range muskets of the enemy. Night coming on, their services were not required. The battle on the right raged with great fury for about two hours, and darkness put an end to the conflict, our men sleeping on their arms, and in the advanced positions which they had won.

The troops on the left of the road were not engaged, with the exception of two pieces of artillery attached to General Jones's division, which did good service, disorganizing the enemy's line, and causing his troops to change position. When the enemy attempted to turn our right flank, I desired to move a portion of General Jones's command to the right, to operate on the Williamsburg road; but the position of his troops could not be ascertained until it was too late to do so. In the mean time, desiring to have troops in hand ready to reenforce still further General McLaws, I left my position for a few moments to confer with General Cobb, on the left, from whose command I detached a regiment, and halted it near the railroad bridge. Whilst with General Cobb, an Aid-de-camp of General Lee, Major Taylor, came up and informed me that General Jackson had orders to cooperate with me, and that there was some mistake about the orders directing him elsewhere. He desired to see General Jackson, but not knowing the way to Grapevine Bridge, Rev. L. W. Allen, one of my staff, who knew the country thoroughly, volunteered to deliver any message he might send. This was done, and General Jackson arrived in person at half past 3 o'clock, on Monday morning, to which hour I had been kept up by the duties of the night. He informed me that his troops would be up, probably, by daylight. I then slept an hour — the first in forty-eight. Previous to the arrival of General Jackson, I considered the situation as by no means satisfactory. Not having heard from Mr. Allen during the night, I was uncertain whether General Jackson had obeyed his orders to go elsewhere or not, and I was satisfied that there was at least a corps d'armee in our front, as was proved, next morning, by our having taken prisoners from three divisions. The proportion of the enemy's force to our own was probably two or three to one. I therefore asked for reenforcements, in case General Jackson did not join me. Early in the morning, on Monday, a small party of Texans, of Hood's brigade, ascertained that the enemy had evacuated their position on the night before. Several hundred prisoners, twenty-five hundred sick and wounded in the hospitals, a large amount of stores, and a considerable number of wounded on the field, fell into our hands. Here, also, some of our own prisoners were retaken, among whom was the gallant Colonel Lamar, of Anderson's brigade, captured by the enemy in the battle of Goulding's Farm. I sent the prisoners to Richmond, in charge of Captain G. P. Turner, of the Marine corps, and placed Major Wray, of my staff, who had been of great service to me during the action, in charge of the enemy's wounded, the hospital and public property. Our loss was some four hundred, killed and wounded, whilst I estimate that of the enemy to be not less than three thousand, killed and wounded--General Semmes reporting not less than four hundred dead in front of his brigade alone.


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