and that he occupied his abandoned works. Immediately communicating with division headquarters, I received orders to advance my entire command to the support of Colonel Kennedy. Soon after the arrival of this brigade at Fair Oaks, my skirmishers, under command of Major Gaillard, of the Second regiment, became engaged slightly on the left, and my whole command was ordered to advance cautiously across the York River Railroad, along theNine-mile road, under repeated cautions to be careful not to engage the forces of General Jackson, who were believed to be advancing from the Chickahominy to our left. We advanced about a mile, when the firing along the left of my line (of skirmishers) became general, and an artillery fire from our left front was opened upon our column. Having every reason to suppose that this might be a collision with General Jackson's forces, I restrained the fire of my men, and sent a regimental battle-flag to the front to be waved on the railroad. At this juncture I was ordered to fall back and take position, with my left resting on the railroad. Here it became evident, from the continuance of the fire upon our lines, that the enemy was in front of us. About three o'clock P. M., the other troops of General Magruder's command being in position, I received orders to advance along the line of the railroad, and marched at once steadily in the direction of Savage's Station. Arriving at the point from which the enemy had fired his artillery, (the first house on the right of the railroad, below Fair Oaks,) it was ascertained that he had retired. Still advancing, my right skirmishers became engaged while passing through the wood; but, upon reaching the open plain beyond, the enemy was found occupying a series of heavy earthworks, at the far end of the field, on the Williamsburg road. I halted the command under the brow of the hill, sent for Kemper's battery, and ordered forward, along a ravine, near the railroad, to a thick wood in front of my left, the Second and Third regiments South Carolina volunteers, to flank the redoubts, and to charge them, if practicable. Kemper arriving, I directed him to open upon the enemy, which he did with such rapidity and effect, as to disperse them without the aid of infantry. At this moment I received orders from Major-General Magruder to continue my advance, and attack any position I might meet the enemy in. I ordered my command forward, preceded, as before, by skirmishers, commanded by Major Gaillard, to whose assistance I sent Major Rutherford, of the Third regiment. I signified to Major Brent, who brought me the order, that, in my opinion, there should be troops to my right, which only extended to the Williamsburg road, though my skirmishers were extended beyond to cover that flank. In a few minutes I heard that Major-General McLaws had ordered forward General Semmes' brigade to that position. Continuing the advance through the abandoned works and camps of the enemy, taking some prisoners on the way, we arrived at the edge of the wood which skirts Savage's farm. Sending forward the line of skirmishers to brush the wood, they soon encountered the enemy in heavy force, and a formidable artillery fire. Kemper's battery was placed in position on the road, Colonel Henagan's Eighth South Carolina regiment was thrown to his right across the road, and the whole command became engaged. I ordered the Second and Third regiments to charge, which they did in gallant style; and, immediately after, the Seventh regiment, Colonel Aiken. These regiments steadily and rapidly advanced, driving the enemy before them through the wood, and well into the field beyond, throwing them into confusion, and strewing the ground with dead. In the mean time, the Seventh. regiment, which was next the Williamsburg road, found itself flanked by the enemy, who had advanced along that road in the direction of Kemper's battery and the Eighth regiment, to a position some two hundred yards in our rear. Matters were in this position when General Semmes attacked on my right. The line of his fire upon the enemy rendered the position of my advanced regiments on the left of the road extremely hazardous, and Colonel Aiken very properly fell back to the general line of battle, followed by Colonels Nance and Kennedy. In the mean time, Kemper's battery, flanked by the Eighth regiment, had inflicted terrible havoc upon the enemy, whose dead lay in heaps along the road, scarcely two hundred yards from the battery. The conduct of both officers and men in this engagement was most commendable. Nothing could exceed the gallantry, self-possession, and efficiency of the regimental commanders, Colonels Henagan and Kennedy, Nance and Aiken, to whom my thanks are especially due. Though my loss was heavy, it is with pride and satisfaction that we turn to five hundred dead of the enemy left on the field as attesting the bravery and efficiency of the troops engaged at Savage's, and that our loss was fearfully avenged. I regret to record the loss of Lieutenant-Colonel B. C. Garlington, Third regiment South Carolina volunteers, of whom his commanding officer most truly says, he was an officer of fine judgment, cool courage, and commendable energy. He was killed instantly in the act of brandishing his sword defiantly. Lieutenant-Colonel Goodwyn, of the Second regiment, and Lieutenant-Colonel Bland, of the Seventh South Carolina regiment, were both severely wounded, conspicuously exposed as they were in the active discharge of their duties in the field. Major Gaillard, of the Second regiment, was charged with the important and responsible duty of directing the movements of the skirmishers during the day. This duty he discharged with great judgment and gallantry. His horse was killed under him during the engagement. He was efficiently assisted in the duties of his position by Major Rutherford, Third South Carolina volunteers. Captain Kemper and the officers and men under his command maintained the high reputation they established at Vienna, Bull Run, and Manassas. For particular mention of such of the company
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Foreign accounts of the fight.
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