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[459] them; and they withdrew to the hills beyond the river. A reconnoitring force was crossed over the river to examine the position assumed by the enemy, and was charged upon by cavalry in the afternoon. In order to clear the road of the cavalry, Captain Pelham was ordered, with two twelve-pounder howitzers, to take position on the bridge and shell the road. Just as he unlimbered, the enemy opened upon him with two rifled pieces, one only four hundred yards distant. As this gun had been turned upon the road occupied by the pieces of Captain Pelham, its fire was very accurate and rapid; yet in fifteen minutes the enemy was driven away, with a loss of two men, and two horses killed and several wounded. The force of the enemy had been sent to repair the bridges, and had begun work when we attacked them. As far as could be ascertained, the enemy had one regiment of infantry, a squadron of cavalry, and two pieces of artillery, in the forenoon, and this force was increased toward the afternoon.

During the following night and forenoon, two squadrons of the brigade were on picket above and below the Forge Bridge.

Tuesday, first July, early in the morning, an ineffectual attempt was made, at the ford above the Forge Bridge, to drive the pickets from their post. Private Robertson, of company D, Jeff Davis legion, posted as vidette, encountered four privates of a New York regiment, killed one, and compelled the other three to surrender. After this, the enemy retired and was not seen till next day. This command moved with the brigade to the farm of----Rock, five or six miles from Haxall's Landing, where it bivouacked.

Wednesday, July second, a drenching rain fell during the morning. A squadron from the command, composed of the Boykin Rangers, Jeff Davis legion, Lieutenant Chestnut commanding, and the Black Horse company, Fourth Virginia cavalry, Lieutenant Smith, was posted on picket, on a road leading toward Westover. Lieutenant Chestnut, with ten men in advance, supported by thirty of the reserve, now charged upon a squadron of the enemy's cavalry, posted in the road, and compelled it to fall back, with the loss of one man killed and one horse captured.

One piece from Stuart's horse artillery, a twelve-pounder howitzer, Lieutenant Shaw commanding, had been ordered to report to me. I advanced on the road leading to Haxall's Landing. This road leads at right angles to the River road, at an elevated point nearly opposite the landing, which is from this point one fourth of a mile distant. The space between this road and the river is an open field, and the road leading to the landing, as well as the whole field, is within easy range of the gunboats on the river. One gunboat was discovered at the landing. The advance guard, twenty-four guns, under Lieutenant----, of Captain Williams's company, Fourth cavalry, with six or eight men from the legion, now deployed through the woods to gather prisoners, directing their course toward the landing, with instructions to keep out of sight of the boat, as far as possible. Accompanying the advance guard, I proceeded to the neighborhood of Haxall's Landing, and, having, found that the Monitor and Galena were in front of the house, about two hundred yards distant, suspecting that I might find some of the enemy lurking about the overseer's house, immediately on the bank of the river, with private Volney Metcalf, of company A, Georgia legion, I succeeded in getting to the rear of the house, about sixty yards from the Monitor and Galena, and captured three prisoners, with arms, one being a sailor from the Monitor. Our character seeming to be undiscovered by the gunboats, I ordered five of my men, and as many prisoners, into the field, near the river bank, to drive away some twenty-five or thirty mules there feeding, some with harness on. As my men had Yankee overcoats and caps on, and were assisted by Yankees, I was permitted to move off with one hundred and fifty prisoners, and guns, and the mules, to a place of security. In the mean time, the main column had been advanced on the River road, toward Shirley, within two hundred yards of the point at which the road turns abruptly to the left. In the angle thus formed are thick woods, and from these shots were fired at the head of the column, slowly retiring. Ordering in Captain Avery's company as sharpshooters, dismounted, I again advanced ; but halted the column when I found that our sharpshooters were outnumbered. Suspecting that the enemy were in ambush, I ordered the howitzer to the front, and, in the mean time, discovered a regiment of infantry behind a line of bushes, beyond the turn of the road and on the right. Upon elevated ground, masking the guns, I was enabled to open fire unexpectedly upon the regiment, which proved to be the Forty-second New York, or Tammany regiment, one of the best, it is said, in the service of the enemy. This force was soon driven in confusion and rapidly toward Berkeley. Our skirmishers had captured three prisoners of the enemy and killed them. Pursuit was made as rapidly as the skirmishers could proceed through the woods. The Tammany regiment was, however, too fleet for us, and reached the main body of McClellan's army at Berkeley before we reached it. I was checked in pursuit by finding a brigade in line of battle across the road, and a gunboat getting into position. I had only six rounds of ammunition left for the howitzers, and three hundred men. Many wagons, ambulances, and stores destroyed, and wounded left at Haxall's, disclosed the confusion which must have prevailed in the retreating army. Privates Volney Metcalf and William Barnard, of company A, of the legion, deserve especial notice for their boldness and activity at the landing. We returned at night to our bivouac at Rock's. Thursday, July third, moved with the brigade to Phillips's, on the road to Westover, and while the horse artillery was shelling the woods, I was ordered to reconnoitre to the left, and to advance to a point opposite the mouth of Herring Creek, a place called Dr. Wilcox's.

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