where it was drawn up in line of battle all the rest of the day, and took up camp in the woods on its left, where it remained till the morning of Monday, the seventh, when it moved forward about a quarter of a mile, and spent the day in line of battle, on picket. That evening it fell back several miles, and camped for the night. Tuesday, the eighth, it marched to a piece of woods several miles west of White Oak Swamp, at which place it staid one day, and then directed itself toward Richmond, at which place it arrived tenth July.
Wm. P. Mosely, Captain, commanding Twenty-first Virginia Regiment.
Report of Colonel Baylor.
headquarters Fifth regiment Virginia infantry, July 9, 1862.Captain: I have the honor to report that, on the afternoon of Friday, the twenty-seventh ultimo, in obedience to orders of Brigadier-General Winder, I prepared my regiment for immediate action. It was marching left in front, and, in the rapid movement forward, was partly cut in two by the Second brigade, which created some confusion in the right companies, and resulted in depriving me of some of my best men, who, in the confusion and rapid movements, lost their way and were unable to join me during the battle. I am happy, however, to state that some of those who were thus cut off, joined themselves to other regiments, and no doubt did their duty as soldiers of the First brigade. On arriving at or near the “tavern,” I, with the Second Virginia, was ordered to support several batteries that were being placed in position just to the front of it, which order I promptly executed, moving my regiment to the support of the left battery, leaving the right for the Second regiment. This disposition had hardly been made before the news came, (I don't know how,) “they are driving our men back;” and now Brigadier-General Winder ordered the brigade forward, then placing my regiment on the left and the Second regiment immediately on its right, the movement was made at a rapid pace through swamps and bogs and thick undergrowth, which made it exceedingly difficult to keep the proper alignment. From the moment of my being placed in position to support the battery, the shells from the enemy's batteries fell around us thick and fast, and yet my men, like veterans, pressed on to the front with a spirit and determination which afterward contributed to the complete success of our General's undertaking. After emerging from the woods, there was an open and almost naked field, ascending by a regular inclined plane for almost one thousand yards to the top of McGee's Hill, on which the enemy was posted in strong force, both of artillery and infantry. Being ordered to charge, in connection with the entire brigade, and to keep my right resting upon the left of the Second regiment, I found great difficulty in doing so from the constant obliquing of the brigade to the right. It was now dusk, and I could hardly see the left of the Second; but I urged my men forward, being guided by the cheering more than by the sight of that regiment. The charge was executed in gallant style and at a double-quick, until I arrived within one hundred and fifty yards of the top of the hill, when I ordered a halt, seeing that the Second regiment had halted, closed up the regiment, and opened a fire upon the enemy. By this time I found that my regiment had become separated a considerable distance from the Second regiment, and discovered a regiment lying down between the two, somewhat to the rear. My right had run over part of this regiment in the charge, and I am informed that previously my left had done the same thing for another regiment, which was lying down and in its way. Whilst my regiment was engaged in action to the front, I ascertained that the regiment lying down between mine and the Second regiment, was the Thirty-eighth Georgia. Upon asking for its Colonel, I was informed that all of its field officers were wounded, and that Captain Lawton, A. A. General and chief of Brigadier General Lawton's staff, was controlling it. He replied that it had no ammunition; I inquired if he had bayonets, and whether he would fill up the space between me and the Second regiment in the charge. He replied that he would, and I take pleasure in stating that, upon my giving the order to charge, he moved up in fine style, and assisted in holding the hill during the night. The whole line in this last and successful charge obliqued to the right, and the right of my regiment obliqued the road in which it captured two Parrott pieces in battery, which, from their heated condition, had evidently been used very freely and with terrible effect upon our forces. The enemy retired slowly, and, to the best of my knowledge, did not abandon the pieces and their position until our line had approached to within seventy-five yards of his. Not stopping at the top of the hill, I moved forward to a fence some fifty yards to the front, and placed the regiment behind it, nearly in line with the balance of the brigade. Whilst there, a battery of ours, on our left, fired a discharge of canister, which enfiladed my entire line, but providentially hurt no one. I speak it to the praise of my regiment, that whilst this discharge cut all around them, it showed no symptoms of alarm, but remained steady and firm until one of the privates gave notice to the battery that we were friends. Under orders, I afterward moved farther forward, and subsequently withdrew with the whole line to the top of the hill, and threw out pickets some distance to the front. I immediately called for company L to man the two pieces captured, but ascertained that Captain Burke and First Lieutenant Swope, and nine men were wounded — leaving only one officer and nine men unhurt. I ordered him to take command of one of the pieces and load it with canister, but he ascertained that the enemy had used every charge but two, one of which was found in the limber-box, the other reversed in one of the guns. I reported these facts to General Winder. My