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[308] regiment (Orr's) on the left, directing battalion. The attempt was made, but either in consequence of the impossibility of advancing through a thick and almost impenetrable pine thicket, or from a change of orders, the order was countermanded. At twelve o'clock (midnight) the brigade marched to a position in front of the enemy's breastworks, with Brigadier-General Lane on our left, and Brigadier-General Archer on our right. At sunrise the advance was commenced, the brigade, however, obliqued too much to the left, separating our line from that of Brigadier-General Archer, and somewhat overlapping the right of Brigadier-General Lane. So soon, however, as the ground was cleared before us, the four regiments engaged, (First, Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Orr's rifles,) dashed at the enemy's first line of breastworks, and clearing them with rapidity, the brigade passed about one hundred yards to the front and engaged the enemy, who appeared to be collected in strength on our right. Up to this time Brigadier-General McGowan was active and courageous in urging on the brigade, exposing himself without any sort of regard for his own safety; the last that I saw of him, his huge form was towering from the top of the breastworks, which we had just passed: he was soon after, unfortunately, wounded, but I am happy to say not dangerously. The brigade soon became very hotly engaged, particularly the two right regiments, (First and Orr's rifle regiments.) The enemy finding our right open and unsupported, (Brigadier-General Archer having lost his connection with our line, from our having obliqued to the left in advancing from the cover of the woods,) pressed on to pass round our right flank, and get possession of the breastworks in our rear. This being apparent to the two right regiments, (First and Orr's rifles,) they fell back to the line of breastworks, and continued to fight the enemy, who, if they had pushed vigorously forward, could at once have driven us out, as that portion of the works was unoccupied for some time, but such a deadly fire was poured into them whenever they showed themselves that their immediate advance was checked. While fighting at the breastworks, I learned that Colonel Edwards, Thirteenth regiment South Carolina volunteers, had assumed command of the brigade. From him I did not receive many orders, as he was, I regret to say, soon very severely wounded; as likewise my gallant young subaltern, Lieutenant James T. Proctor, (company C, First regiment,) whom I had just before detailed to act as his A. A. General, who, after a very few moments of duty lost his leg. We had not fought for any great length of time, when a portion of Major-General Trimble's division, commanded by Brigadier-General Colston, came to reenforce us on the right, but from their hesitancy in taking the position, and encumbering us in the rear, they were but of little use, and the enemy soon commenced pouring over the breastworks on our right. My regiment (First South Carolina volunteers) and Orr's rifle regiment being out of ammunition, without the means of replenishing it, and our flank exposed by the enemy occupying the line (the prolongation of ours) to the right, it was deemed best to retire for the time, which was done. Falling back a short distance to a road in rear, as commander of my own regiment, I found Brigadier-General Colston rallying some of his own troops; to him I reported, asking that my regiment might be supplied with ammunition, which was furnished me. The rifle regiment (Orr's) soon joined me. Here I learned for the first time that Colonel Edwards was wounded. I assumed command of that portion of the brigade which was with me, and soon resumed the advance. Finding the breastworks occupied by our own troops, I was ordered, by Brigadier-General Colston, to march the portion of the brigade which had joined me across the plank road, and occupied the position commanding the flank of the line of breastworks held by our troops; here I took position, and remained under an irregular but severe fire of shells for two hours, expecting every moment to be engaged with the infantry of the enemy, as scattering bullets were occasionally reaching us, and sometimes heavy firing was heard immediately in our front; gradually the fire slackened. I was left without further orders, and finding the brigade of Brigadier-General Pender in my rear, moving out into the plank road, I reported to him for orders, and learned that he was in command of the light division, both Major-General A. P. Hill and Brigadier-General Heth having been slightly wounded. After a short time we received our rations, replenished our ammunition, and being rejoined by the rest of the brigade, which had been with Colonel A. Perrin, Fourteenth regiment South Carolina volunteers, I marched the brigade, under orders of Brigadier-General Pender, to a position on the left of the plank road, and was established on the front line of his division, facing eastward, (on Sunday afternoon, third instant,) holding, as he informed me, the key of his position, and which I was ordered by him to hold at all hazards and to the last extremity.

Throwing out skirmishers to the front, and covering my entire line, we prepared to bivouac, and obtain such rest as we might in a swamp, with dead, dying, and roasted Yankees, (the woods having taken fire just after the battle of that day, third instant,) but our rest was constantly interrupted by our skirmishers becoming engaged with those of the enemy.

On Monday, the fourth, I was ordered to remove the brigade to a position in rear of the one held by me during the afternoon and night before. Here I had breastworks rapidly thrown up, six companies covering my front as skirmishers, and scouts sent out to reconnoitre the position of the enemy. From these scouts I learned, early in the evening, that the enemy were making no demonstration on their right and in my front. During this night I could hear the moving of the artillery and wagon trains down towards Banks's Ford, and so reported it to Brigadier-General Pender, with my impression that they were moving off, which subsequent events proved to be correct. Nothing of further moment occurred, beyond our pushing my skirmishers, by a wheel of their line


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Orr (6)
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