Humphries, were ordered to that side of the road, and to support Kershaw's brigade, if it should become necessary to do so. About sundown, these regiments advanced gallantly and promptly when the order was given, under a severe fire, across an open field to the support of a battery, and engaged the enemy, then strongly posted in the woods beyond the field, and poured several destructive volleys into his ranks, when messengers arrived and requested that the firing should cease, as danger would result from it to our friends, who were manoeuvring between them and the enemy. The men were ordered to lie down; and night coming on, and the firing having ceased, they retired in good order to the woods, in rear of the battle-field. The Eighteenth regiment, Colonel Griffin, was ordered, after dark, to the battle-field, and slept upon it — the enemy, during the night, continuing his flight. On Monday we continued the march, but did not reach the battle-field of that day until ten o'clock at night. The next morning at daylight, the pickets reported that the enemy was advancing. I at once ordered the brigade in line of battle, and advanced across the field to a skirt of woods, and halted, and awaited his attack, throwing out several companies of skirmishers; but the report proved to be unfounded — the enemy having, during the night, retreated, leaving his dead and wounded in our hands. Our companies of skirmishers captured a number of prisoners, who were sent to the rear. About two o'clock the enemy were discovered in a strong position, and in immense numbers, on the Crew's farm and Malvern Hills. By your orders, given to me in person, the brigade was formed in the woods, in front of the enemy, and in range of his fire, both from his batteries and gunboats in James River, about one mile and a half distant — the men being protected, as well as it could be done, by the woods and brow of a hill. Here shot and shell fell thick among us — several being killed and wounded, and among them, Major Moody, of the Twenty-first regiment, who was seriously wounded in the foot. At about six o'clock the brigade was ordered to advance upon the enemy, to support our friends who were already engaged, and if possible, to take his batteries. The order was promptly obeyed. The brigade was formed in the open field, and advanced upon the enemy under a terrible fire of shell, grape, canister, and minie balls, and continued the assault until night closed the scene, when it retired in good order to the position it formerly occupied in the woods. Colonels Holder and Griffin, and Lieutenant-Colonel Brandon, commanding Twenty-first regiment, were all severely wounded while gallantly and nobly leading their regiments into action. Lieutenant-Colonel Carter, commanding the Thirteenth regiment, while handling his men with consummate skill, was wounded and taken from the field. The command in the Thirteenth regiment devolved upon Major McElroy; in the Seventeenth, on Lieutenant-Colonel Fizer; in the Eighteenth, on Lieutenant-Colonel Luse; and in the Twenty-first, on Captain Brooks--all of whom discharged their duties bravely, and with signal ability. The entire command, although one third of its number fell upon the field, maintained its ground with undaunted courage, and dealt bravely terrible blows upon the ranks of the enemy, as his dead and wounded in front of our lines the next morning clearly proved. I am under peculiar obligation to Major Inge, Adjutant-General of the brigade, for his valuable assistance in both engagements. He was prompt in the execution of all orders, and constantly exposed to the severest fire of the enemy's guns, in directing the regiments into battle. To Captain Costin, Aid-de-camp, I am much indebted. He was with me in the field, encouraging the men by his example, and gallantly discharging his duty. I was deprived of the valuable services of Majors Watts and Hawkins by the fall of General Griffith--both of whom were ordered to remain with him. It is proper for me to say that twice during the battle Captain McCarthy's battery engaged the enemy, and that both he and his command behaved with coolness and courage worthy of the cause. Dr. Gilmore, senior surgeon of the brigade, and his assistants, in the discharge of their duties, were indefatigable — having the wounded borne from the field as rapidly as they could be found. I desire to call the attention of the department to this officer, who, by his skill as a surgeon, and ability as a physician, is eminently entitled to its favorable consideration. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, Your obedient servant,
William Barksdale. Colonel, commanding Brigade.
Report of General Kershaw.
headquarters Fourth brigade, Second division, near Richmond, July 14, 1862.Captain: I have the honor to submit my report of the part taken by the troops under my command, in the recent battles before Richmond: With the exception of frequent movements of my regiments, under orders from Major-General Magruder, and occasional attacks upon the out-posts of the enemy to ascertain their strength, resulting in the loss to the Seventh regiment of one killed and three wounded, and to the Third of several wounded, and the discovery that the enemy was at least in his usual force in our front, nothing of importance occurred in my command until Sunday morning, the twenty-ninth. At an early hour I received orders from Major-General McLaws to send forward a regiment and ascertain the condition of things in front. I despatched the Second South Carolina, Colonel Kennedy. Some hours after, I received from that officer information that the enemy had disappeared,