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[674] the reconnoissance, and had got his skirmishers into the ravine.

I then directed him to place his regiment where the skirmishers were, and to send these beyond the house to the crest of the ravine ridge, from which crest the enemy were visible, and then to post his regiment in line behind them and near them. All these orders were executed by him with great promptness and judgment. After giving him these orders, I put the Twentieth in motion, to connect with him on his left. This movement was completed at about sunset. Thus the two regiments had swung around so that their right was now on the flank of the enemy. Soon after the new line of pickets showed their heads on the crest of the flanking ridge in the field, the enemy ceased firing, and moved to his rear with his whole force. The two regiments remained in their last position, without any change, until after night, as I had received an order, while they were taking up that position, from General Jones to support General Drayton in an attack which he was about to make on the enemy from the front. The retreat of the enemy prevented that attack from being made.

The conduct of both officers and men was everything that could be desired, and to particularize any of either would, I almost fear, be doing injustice to the rest. I will, however, venture to say that the conduct of Lieutenant-Colonel Holmes, Major Waddell, Captain Seago, second in command of the Twentieth, and Lieutenant Thomas, commanding its skirmishers, especially of Colonel Holmes, repeatedly attracted my admiration.

The two other regiments, the Fifteenth and Seventeenth, ceased to be under my immediate command after I was ordered to seize and hold the mountain. I am certain, however, from trustworthy information, that they well performed the part assigned them, which was to remain passive in their place, in the gorge, whilst the action was going on in front. They did so. This place was much exposed to the shells of the enemy, from which they suffered considerably.

I am, Major, your obedient servant,

Henry L. Benning, Colonel Seventeenth Georgia, commanding Toombs's Brigade.
N. B. Thoroughfare and Manassas are put in a single report for the Twentieth Georgia by Major Waddell, who commanded the regiment. That report accompanies my Manassas report.

Henry L. Benning, Colonel, commanding Brigade.

Report of Brigadier-General Benning of Second battle of Manassas.

headquarters Toombs's brigade, camp near Winchester, October 8, 1862.
Major Coward, A. A. G.:
Major: Of the part borne in the second battle of Manassas, on the thirtieth of August last, by this brigade, which, in the compulsory absence of General Toombs until late in the battle, I car-ried into action, I respectfully submit to you the I following report:

At about four o'clock P. M. of the thirtieth of August, in obedience to the order of General I). R. Jones, I put the brigade in line of battle, with its right resting on the road from Gainesville to Manassas, and its left toward the right of General Kemper's command. Shortly afterward I was ordered by General Jones to advance in line of battle, keeping my distance from General Kemper. I ordered the brigade accordingly to advance, which it did for a mile and a half or two miles, when it encountered the enemy's infantry. This advance was through fields, and for a great part of the way under the shell of the enemy's artillery. When the line reached the Chinn house, its position was such that the Twentieth Georgia regiment had to go to the left of that house, and the other regiments, the Second Georgia, the Fifteenth Georgia, and the Seventeenth Georgia, to its right. This caused a wide separation of the Twentieth from them. As the Twentieth was passing the house, some officers of other commands met them, crying, “Come this way; your aid is needed; the enemy are close by.” . This drew me to the Twentieth, and, when the regiment passed the house, I discovered the enemy a few hundred yards distant, almost in our front, but a little to our left, in a pine thicket. To that thicket I carried the regiment, and, on reaching it, ordered them to charge it. The pines were found to be very dense, and some of them of large size for a second growth. The regiment obeyed the order with alacrity, and advanced with as much alacrity as the thicket would admit of, receiving a heavy fire from the enemy, and returning it without halting. The thicket proved to be one of considerable length, with its left resting on the dry bed of a small stream or branch. The enemy fell back as we advanced, until we reached its lower end. There we obtained a good view of them, and saw them running in complete rout, a huddled mass. From their appearance, there must have been several regiments of them. They soon got out of sight by the speed they made under the fire in their rear. But on emerging into the open ground, we also discovered a battery on the opposite side of the dry branch to which I have referred, and not more than four hundred yards off, which, the thicket being then clear of its own troops, opened its whole fire on us. I reflected a moment on what was best to be done. It appeared to me that to stay where we were was certain destruction; to retreat would be exposing ourselves for a long distance to the enemy's shells, and might have other worse effects. I thought that, upon the whole, it was better to try to take the battery, especially as I could not see any infantry support near it. I determined to make the attempt, and accordingly gave the order to charge the battery. This order was obeyed with a shout, and on the regiment went, at a run. At about fifty or sixty yards from the front of the battery the level branch bottom terminated, and the ascent of the hill on which the battery was placed commenced. The ascent, for a short distance, was rather steep, and then was considerably less so up to the guns,

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