previous next

[578] his intention to renew the conflict. The next morning I found that he had abandoned the ground occupied as the battle-field the evening before, and had moved farther to the east, and to my left, placing himself between my command and the Federal capital. My troops on this day were distributed along and in the vicinity of the cut of an unfinished railroad, (intended as a part of the track to connect the Manassas road directly with Alexandria,) stretching from the Warrenton turnpike in the direction of Sudley Mill. It was mainly along the excavation of this unfinished road that my line of battle was formed on the twenty-ninth, Jackson's division, under Brigadier-General Starke, on the right, Ewell's division, under Brigadier-General Lawton, in the centre, and Hill's division on the left. In the morning, about ten o'clock, the Federal artillery opened with spirit and animation upon our right, which was soon replied to by the batteries of Poague, Carpenter, Dement, Brockenbrough, and Latimer, under Major Shumaker. This lasted for some time, when the enemy moved around more to our left to another point of attack. His next effort was directed against our left. This was vigorously repulsed by the batteries of Braxton, Crenshaw, and Pegram. About two o'clock P. M., the Federal infantry, in large force, advanced to the attack of our left, occupied by the division of General Hill. It pressed forward in defiance of our fatal and destructive fire with great determination, a portion of it crossing a deep cut in the railroad track, and penetrating in heavy force an interval of near a hundred and seventy-five yards, which separated the right of Gregg's from the left of Thomas's brigade. For a short time Gregg's brigade, on the extreme left, was isolated from the main body of the command. But the Fourteeth South Carolina regiment, then in reserve, with the Forty-ninth Georgia, left of Colonel Thomas's, attacked the exultant enemy with vigor, and drove them back across the railroad track with great slaughter. General McGowan reports that the opposing forces, at one time, delivered their volleys into each other at the distance of ten paces. Assault after assault was made on the left, exhibiting on the part of the enemy great pertinacity and determination; but every advance was most successfully and gallantly driven back. General Hill reports that six separate and distinct assaults were thus met and repulsed by his division, assisted by Hays's brigade, Colonel Forno commanding. By this time the brigade of General Gregg, which, from its position on the extreme left, was most exposed to the enemy's attack, had nearly expended its ammunition. It had suffered severely in its men, and all its field officers except two were killed or wounded. About four o'clock it had been assisted by Hays's brigade, (Colonel Forno.) It was now retired to the rear to take some repose after seven hours of severe service, and General Early's brigade, of Ewell's division, with the Eighth Louisiana regiment, took its place. On reaching his position, General Early found that the enemy had obtained possession of the railroad and a piece of wood in front, there being at this point a deep cut, which furnished a strong defence. Moving through a field, he advanced upon the enemy, drove them from the wood and railroad cut with great slaughter, and followed in pursuit some two hundred yards. The Thirteenth Georgia at the same time advanced to the railroad, and crossed with Early's brigade. As it was not desirable to bring on a general engagement that evening, General Early was recalled to the railroad, where Thomas, Pender, and Archer had firmly maintained their positions during the day. Early kept his position there until the following morning. Brigadier-General Field and Colonel Forno (commanding Hays's brigade) were severely wounded. Brigadier-General Trimble was also seriously wounded. During the day, a force of the enemy penetrated the wood in my rear, endangering the safety of my ambulances and train. Upon being advised of this by General Stuart, I sent a body of infantry to drive them from the wood. But in the mean time, the vigilant Pelham had unlimbered his battery and dispersed that portion of them which had reached the wood. At a later period, Major Patrick, of the cavalry, who was by General Stuart intrusted with guarding the train, was attacked, and although it was promptly and effectually repulsed, it was not without the loss of that intrepid officer, who fell in the attack whilst setting an example of gallantry to his men well worthy of imitation. During the day, the commanding General arrived, and also General Longstreet, with his command. On the following day, (thirtieth,) my command occupied the ground, and the divisions the same relative position to each other, and to the field, which they held the day before, forming the left wing of the army. General Longstreet's command formed the right wing. A large quantity of artillery was posted upon a commanding eminence in the centre.

After some desultory skirmishing and heavy cannonading during the day, the Federal infantry, about four o'clock in the evening, moved from under cover of the wood and advanced in several lines, first engaging the right, but soon extended its attack to the centre and left. In a few moments our entire line was engaged in a fierce and sanguinary struggle with the enemy. As one line was repulsed, another took its place, and pressed forward as if determined, by force of numbers and fury of assault, to drive us from our positions. So impetuous and well sustained were these onsets as to induce me to send to the commanding General for reenforcements; but the timely and gallant advance of General Longstreet, on the right, relieved my troops from the pressure of overwhelming numbers, and gave to those brave men the chances of a more equal conflict. As Longstreet pressed upon the right, the Federal advance was checked, and soon a general advance of my whole line was ordered. Eagerly and fiercely did each brigade press forward, exhibiting in parts of the field scenes of close encounter and murderous strife not witnessed


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Jackson (Mississippi, United States) (1)

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
29th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: