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[106] by the Lieutenant-General, also, to move my division at dawn, on the twelfth, and relieve Major-General Hood. In obedience to this order, I put my troops in position, my front line consisting of two regiments of Brockenbrough's brigade, the brigades of Generals Archer, Lane, and Pender, my extreme right resting upon the road leading from Hamilton's Crossing to the Port Royal road, and my left to within a short distance of Deep Creek. Upon the hill crowning the right of my line, Lieutenant-Colonel Lindsay Walker, my Chief of Artillery, had in position, under his own immediate direction, fourteen rifle and Napoleon guns, composed of the batteries of Pegram and McIntosh, with sections from the batteries of Crenshaw, Latham, and Johnson, commanded respectively by Lieutenants Ellett, Potts, and Chitter. The batteries of Captains Davidson and Braxton (the latter commanded by Lieutenant Marye) were placed to cover my left, about two hundred yards in front of Pender's brigade.

My line of battle, as thus formed, was fully one mile and a half in extent, the division of Major-General Hood being on my left. Lane's brigade was some one hundred and fifty yards in advance of my general line, the timber, in the skirt of which was posted his brigade, jutting out into the low grounds some distance from the main body. Along the military road — a new road running in rear of my front line from right to left, cut by Major-General Hood--were posted my reserves, consisting of the remainder of Brockenbrough's brigade, Fortieth and Fifty-fifth Virginia, as a support to Walker's batteries, Gregg's brigade crossing the interval between Archer and Lane, and Thomas's brigade the interval between Lane and Pender. The division remained as thus posted during Friday and Friday night undisturbed, except by the shelling from the enemy's guns.

On Saturday morning, Lieutenant-General Jackson directed that Braxton's battery and two batteries from Brigadier-General Taliaferro's division be placed in advance of the railroad, and General Lane was directed to support them. Braxton's battery was relieved by Latimer, a young veteran. About ten o'clock, Saturday morning, the lifting of the fog discovered to us the lines of the enemy, drawn out in battle array on the low grounds between us and the river, covering the whole of my front, and extending far to the left, towards Fredericksburg. They were deployed in three lines, with heavy reserves behind the Port Royal road. Soon their lines, accompanied by ten batteries, six on their left and four on the right, moved forward to the attack. They had advanced but a short distance, when, Stuart's horse artillery opening on them from the Port Royal road and enfilading their lines, the advance was halted, and four of the batteries gave their attention for an hour or more to Major Pelham. As soon as Pelham ceased his fire, all their batteries, right and left, opened a terrific fire upon the positions occupied by my batteries, and shelled the woods promiscuously. There being no reply from any of our batteries, and being unable to elicit any discoveries from this sharp practice, continued for an hour or more, the advance was again sounded, and, preceded by clouds of skirmishers, the right gallantly essayed another attempt. To cover this advance, their batteries were now served with redoubled activity; and now, the masses of infantry being within point blank range, the roar was deepened and made deadly to the enemy as shell and canister from our long silent, but now madly aroused, batteries ploughed through their ranks. The enemy, however, continued to advance, and the three batteries already mentioned as having been posted in advance of the railroad, were compelled to retire, their withdrawal being covered by Lieutenant-Colonel Hill, with the Seventh North Carolina. Lane's brigade was the first to encounter the masses of the enemy, who, recoiling somewhat from his direct front, shifted their main attack to his right, endeavoring to penetrate through the interval between Archer and himself. The attack directly in front of Archer and of Walker's guns had been gallantly repulsed, the enemy finding what shelter they could along the railroad. Concentrating their columns of attack, the enemy now made a bold effort, and, pushing onward, turned Lane's right, although obstinately resisted by the Twenty-eighth and Thirty-seventh North Carolina regiments. Colonel Barber, of the Thirty-seventh, finding his right turned, changed front with his three right companies, and poured in a destructive fire. These two regiments continued to fight until their ammunition was exhausted, and were then quickly and steadily retired from the field, refilling their boxes and rejoining their brigade. The three remaining regiments of Lane's brigade (Seventh, Eighteenth, and Thirty-third North Carolina) steadily continued to battle against overwhelming numbers, and the attack was checked by well-directed volleys from the Thirty-third regiment, Colonel Avery. General Thomas, responding to the call of General Lane, rapidly threw forward his brigade of Georgians, by the flank, and deploying by successive formations, squarely met the enemy, charged them, and, joined by the Seventh and part of the Eighteenth North Carolina, drove them back, with tremendous loss, to their original position. In the mean time, the main column of attack had wedged in to the right and rear of Lane, encountered Archer's left, and, attacked in flank and rear, the Fourteenth Tennessee and Nineteenth Georgia were compelled to give back. General Archer, observing the threatening condition of affairs on his left, very promptly detached the Fifth Alabama battalion, holding his line with the brave First Tennessee, under the gallant Turney, and this movement, rapidly executed, and assisted by two regiments of Brockenbrough, (Forty-seventh Virginia and Twenty-second Virginia battalion,) was attended with signal success. The advancing columns of the enemy had also encountered an obstacle in the military road which they little expected — Gregg's brigade of South Carolinians

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