previous next

[620] the ridge indicated, placing them under cover in the woods, and advanced skirmishers to the railroad track, and posted a detachment on my right flank, so as to prevent any surprise from that direction. Johnson's battery was also placed in position so as to command my front. In the mean time our whole line of battle had been so modified as to place it along the railroad track, and Lawton's and Trimble's brigades were moved so as to conform to this new disposition. My own and Hays's brigades thus constituted the extreme right. being thrown back a little in rear of the direction of the main line. The Thirteenth Virginia regiment, under Colonel Walker, and the Thirty-first, under Colonel Hoffman, by skirmishing, kept the body of the enemy's infantry, which has been mentioned, in check until the head of General Longstreet's corps made its appearance on the Warrenton turnpike, from the direction of Gainesville. When this corps had advanced sufficiently far to render it unnecessary for me to remain longer in my position, or for the Thirteenth and Thirty-first regiments to remain where they were, I recalled them, and moved to the left for the purpose of rejoining the rest of the division. I found General Lawton, with his brigade, in the woods, not far from the position at which I had been the evening before, but formed in line so as to be parallel to the railroad, Trimble's brigade being posted on the railroad cut, on the right of our line as thus contracted. I was ordered by General Lawton to form my brigade in line in rear of his brigade, and Colonel Forno was directed to form on my right.

Shortly after this, the enemy began his attempts to drive our troops from the line of the railroad, and about half past 3 P. M., Colonel Forno was ordered to advance to the front by General Jackson to the support of one of General A. P. Hill's brigades, and he advanced to the railroad and drove the enemy from it, and took position on it with his brigade. After this affair Colonel Forno was wounded by one of the enemy's sharpshooters so seriously as to require his removal from the field.

Subsequently to this advance by Colonel Forno, a. messenger came to me from General A. P. Hill, stating that the enemy were pressing one of his brigades on the railroad, whose ammunition was nearly exhausted, and requesting me to advance to its support. I immediately did so, and, as I passed General Lawton's brigade, I found him preparing to send forward the Thirteenth Georgia regiment. I continued to advance to the front, accompanied by the Eighth Louisiana regiment, under Major Lewis, which had not been with its own brigade, having been sent off to replenish its ammunition the day before, and having returned just in time to join my brigade.

On reaching the railroad, I found the enemy had possession of it and a piece of woods in front, there being at this point a deep cut, which furnished a strong defence. General Gregg's and Colonel Thomas's brigades of A. P. Hill's division, having nearly exhausted their ammunition, had fallen back a short distance, but were still presenting front to the enemy. My brigade and the Eighth Louisiana regiment advanced upon the enemy through a field, and drove him from the woods and out of the railroad cut, crossing the latter and following in pursuit several hundred yards beyond. In this charge, which was made with great gallantry, heavy loss was inflicted on the enemy, with comparatively slight loss to my own brigade, though, among others, two valuable officers, Colonel Smith and Major Higginbotham, of the Twenty-fifth Virginia regiment, were severely wounded. The Thirteenth Georgia regiment also advanced to the railroad and crossed it to my right. The messenger from General Hill had stated that it was not desirable that I should go beyond the railroad, and as soon as I could arrest the advance of my brigade, I moved it back to the railroad and occupied it. This was the last attempt made by the enemy on the afternoon of Friday, the twenty-ninth, to get possession of the line of the railroad. On the afternoon of this day, General Trimble was wounded by a shot from one of the enemy's sharpshooters, though I believe his brigade was not engaged during the day.

General Trimble's wound was a very serious one, and the command of the brigade devolved on Captain Brown, of the Twelfth Georgia regiment, as the ranking officer present. During the night of the twenty-ninth, my brigade and the Eighth Louisiana and Thirteenth Georgia regiments lay on their arms on the part of the line they were at. Early next morning the enemy's sharpshooters commenced firing on my left flank along the railroad, killing a very valuable young officer in the Thirteenth Virginia regiment, Lieutenant Wilroy, and I became then aware, for the first time, that my flank was exposed, as I had been informed that one or more of General Hill's brigades were to the left of me, but, for some purpose, whatever force was there had been with-drawn, and I thus found myself in this position. T. soon discovered that the enemy's skirmishers were crossing the railroad to my left, and advancing through a cornfield, and I immediately sent word to General Hill of the state of things, and after some delay, some brigades were sent to occupy positions to my left.

During the course of the morning the skirmishers from my brigade which were under command of Captain Lilly, of the Twenty-fifth Virginia regiment, repulsed a column of the enemy which commenced to advance, and a short time afterward an arrangement was made so as to place General Hill's troops on the left, this division in the centre, and Jackson's division on the right. In making this arrangement there was room left in the front line for only three of the regiments of my brigade, and I left the Forty-fourth, Forty-ninth, and Fifty-second, in position, under Colonel Smith, of the Forty-ninth, and withdrew the Thirteenth, Twenty-fifth, Thirty-first, and Fifty-eighth Virginia regiments a short distance to the rear.

The position of the brigades of the division under this disposition was as follows: On the right was Trimble's brigade, under Captain

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)
Gainesville (Virginia, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
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 (2)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: