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[612]

Doc. 48.-the battle of Bristoe Station.


Report of General A. P. Hill.1

headquarters Third army corps, October 26, 1863.
Colonel R. H. Chilton, A. A. and I. General, Army of Northern Virginia:
Colonel: I have the honor to state that on the morning of the fourteenth instant, I left my camp, one mile distant from Warrenton, on the Amissville turnpike, at five o'clock A. M., and in obedience to orders from the General commanding, “took the Warrenton and Alexandria turnpike, until reaching Broad Run Church, then to take the road by Greenwich and on to Bristoe Station.” Upon arriving at Broad Run Church information reached me, from various sources, that the enemy were moving by a road leading from Greenwich to the Warrenton and Alexandria pike, and coming into it a mile below Buckland. The rumbling of wagons, which could be distinctly heard, led me to place reliance in these reports.

General Anderson was directed to take his division down the turnpike towards Buckland, and, if possible, to strike the column at the point where it came into the pike. If nothing could be accomplished there to turn off and rejoin me at Greenwich. In the meantime, I moved on the road to Greenwich with Heth's and Wilcox's divisions, leaving one battery and Scales' brigade at Buckland to guard the train which had been directed to halt there. General Anderson, in the execution of my orders, found the force referred to to be of cavalry, having already disappeared, and that Major-General Fitzhugh Lee had come up with his cavalry on my left flank; Colonel Rosser, of his advance, having skirmished with the enemy, and driven them back, rejoined me at Greenwich, following Heth's division. From this point to Bristoe, we followed close upon the rear of the Third corps, picking up about one hundred and fifty stragglers. Upon reaching the hills this side of Broad Run, and overlooking the plain on the north side, the Third corps was discovered resting, a portion of it just commencing the march towards Manassas. I determined that no time should be lost, and hurried up Heth's division, forming in line of battle along the crest of the hills, and parallel to Broad Run. Poague's battalion was brought to the front and directed to open on the enemy. They were evidently taken completely by surprise, and retired in the utmost confusion. Seeing this, General Heth was directed to advance his line until reaching the rear, and then to move by the left flank, cross at the ford, and press the enemy. This order was being promptly obeyed when I perceived the enemy's skirmishers making their appearance on this side of Broad Run, and on the right and rear of Heth's division. Word was sent to General Cooke (commanding the right brigade of Heth's division) to look out for his right flank, and he very promptly changed the front of one of his regiments, and drove the enemy back. In the meantime, I sent back to General Anderson to send McIntosh's battalion to the front, and to take two brigades to the position threatened, and protect the right flank of Heth. The head of Anderson's column appearing, Heth was now ordered to advance again and carry out the original order. Davis' brigade, of Heth's division, had been detached as a support to Poague's battalion. The three brigades — Cooke's, Kirkland's, and Walker's — advanced in beautiful order, and quite steadily. Cooke's brigade, upon reaching the crest of the hill in their front, came within full view of the enemy's line of battle behind the railroad embankment, the Second corps, and of whose presence I was unaware. The position was an exceedingly strong one, and covered by the direct and enfilading fire of batteries on the rising ground in rear. A portion of Cooke's brigade became hotly engaged, and of course it became impossible to execute his original order to move by the left flank. Kirkland, finding Cooke engaged, also swung around his left, and gallantly charged to Cooke's assistance. McIntosh's battalion had, before this, been ordered by me to take a position overlooking the railroad and station, and in rear of Cooke's left. Poague's battalion was ordered to take another position, and open fire on the battery which was enfilading Kirkland's line. This was not done as quickly as I expected, and Kirkland's line was exposed to a very deliberate and destructive fire. Never-theless it continued to advance, and gained the railroad, clearing it for a time of the enemy. About this time Generals Cooke and Kirkland were both wounded, and their fall at this critical moment had a serious influence upon the fortunes of the combat. Their men were unable to stand the heavy fire which was poured upon them, and commenced giving back, the three right regiments of Cooke's brigade in good order. Walker had crossed Broad Run in pursuance of the original order. Anderson had been sent to the right to look out for the threatened right flank, and no support was immediately available — Wilcox's division not having yet come up. The infantry falling back (the left of Cooke's brigade) passed through McIntosh's guns, and the enemy passing on, the guns, five in number, were immediately seized and ran down the hill, under the protection of the enemy's artillery and line of battle. General Walker, upon being informed of the perilous condition of the guns, immediately sent forward a regiment, and drove off the enemy; but the guns had disappeared. Dark came upon us before new dispositions could be made to attack, and during the night the enemy retreated.

Brigadier-General Posey was seriously wounded by a shell in the early part of the action. In conclusion, I am convinced that I made the attack too hastily, and at the same time that, a [613] delay of half an hour and there would have been no enemy to attack. In that event, I should equally have blamed myself for not attacking at once.

I enclose my official report of killed, wounded, and missing.

I am, sir, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

A. P. Hill, Lieutenant-General, commanding Third Corps.


Report of General Heth.

headquarters Heth's division, October 24, 1863.
Captain W. N. Starke, A. A. G., Third Army Corp:
Captain; I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my division on the fourteenth instant:

The division moved from camp near Warrenton at half-past 5 o'clock A. M., on the fourteenth instant, following General Anderson's division. When within a mile of New Baltimore, orders were received to pass General Anderson's artillery, by keeping to the right, as it was designed that my division should follow a different road. After passing through New Baltimore, and about a mile and a half or less from the village, I was directed to take a right hand road, which proved to be a cross-road leading to Bristoe Station, via Greenwich. Just before reaching Greenwich, some twenty stragglers of the Third corps, Federal army, were captured. A desultory fire of artillery was heard from just after daybreak, apparently on our right, and continued during the entire day.

It was ascertained at Greenwich that a corps of the enemy had encamped there the evening previous, the last of this corps leaving about eight o'clock A. M., on the fourteenth. From Greenwich we passed on by the most direct road to Bristoe Station, picking up a number of stragglers on the road.

When within a mile and a half of Bristoe Station, I was directed by General A. P. Hill to form three brigades of my division in line of battle, perpendicular to the road on which we were advancing, holding the Fourth brigade as a reserve, which was to continue its march by the flank. Cooke's brigade (leading) was formed on the right of the road, its left resting on the road; Kirkland was put in position on the left of the road, his right resting on the road, and forming a continuous line with Cooke; Walker was directed to form on Kirkland's left; Davis's brigade was held in reserve in the road.

Kirkland had not quite completed the formation of his line when orders were received from General Hill to push on with the two brigades then in line (Cooke's and Kirkland's), informing me, at the same time, that the enemy were retreating rapidly, and that expedition was necessary.

Walker's brigade was at this time in rear of Kirkland, his right resting in rear of Kirkland's right. General Walker was informed of the change, and directed to form on Kirkland's left, if possible, as Kirkland moved forward.

The order was now given to advance. On reaching a cleared space, some two or three hundred yards in our front, the enemy was discovered about three-quarters of a mile in front of Kirkland's left. A few shots from one of Poague's batteries threw them into much confusion, and all that were in sight retreated in disorder across Broad Run. On seeing this, General Hill directed me to move by the left flank, cross Broad Run, and attack the fugitives. This order was given, and my line halted for the left to commence the flank movement. Before this movement was commenced, information was received that a heavy column of the enemy had appeared on our right. I asked General Hill whether the flank movement should continue. He directed that it should be deferred for the present. Some ten minutes afterwards I received orders to move forward. About this time General Cooke in person reported to me that the enemy would take him in flank as he moved forward. This was reported to General Hill, who informed me that General Anderson's division had been, or would be, ordered to the right. General Cooke was informed of this, and the forward movement commenced. Walker had not been able to form line of battle on Kirkland's left. The two brigades (Cooke's and Kirkland's) moved off in handsome style. The skirmishers soon became engaged. The enemy's. strength in my front was only known from the reports made by Captain Johnston, engineer corps. As subsequently shown, it proved to be Warren's Second army corps. Marching parallel to the railroad, the enemy was concealed from our view by hills and woods. On seeing our advance, the enemy formed his line in rear of the railroad embankment, his right resting on Broad Run, and hidden by a railroad cut. In his rear a line of hills ascended to some thirty or forty feet in height, giving him an admirable position for his artillery. The railroad cut and embankment, at the foot of the hill, gave him perfect protection for his infantry. In rear of the enemy's right, on the hills just noticed, a circular line of rifle-pits had been thrown up for the protection of the bridge over Broad Run. These rifle-pits were filled with infantry, and a battery was established in rear and higher up the hills.

As Kirkland moved forward, his left struck the enemy in the railroad out, near Broad Run. He drove everything in his front along the line of the railroad before him, but was unable to carry the second line of works (rifle-pits) that were in his front. When in the railroad cut, his men were exposed to an enfilading fire from his right, in addition to a severe fire from a battery on the north side of Broad Run. The position was untenable. He was compelled to fall back. A number of his men, unwilling to expose themselves, remained in the railroad cut, and were captured, General Cooke was wounded [614] early in the action. When within some five hundred yards of the railroad his brigade halted, and commenced firing. It subsequently charged up to within forty yards of the railroad embankment, but was driven back, being exposed not only to the heavy fire behind the railroad embankment, but also to a fire on its right flank.

The enemy's batteries, during the advance of Cooke and Kirkland, completely swept the field over which the advance was made.

As soon as Cooke's brigade gave way, I ordered General Davis to form his brigade on Cooke's right, thus protecting Cooke from a flank movement.

During the advance of Cooke and Kirkland, a battery belonging to McIntosh's battalion, Anderson's division, was ordered to take position on a hill about five or six hundred yards from the railroad, and about opposite Kirkland's right flank and Cooke's left. This battery was captured by the enemy. I was ignorant of the fact that a battery had been ordered to occupy this position, until it had been taken. A knowledge of its position on my part, however, would not have saved it, as it would not have been deemed necessary to have furnished a special support for it so long as the two brigades (Cooke's and Kirkland's) were in its front. On receiving information that the enemy's skirmishers were approaching the battery, and that it was in danger, a regiment was ordered to its support, but arrived on the ground after five guns had been taken off.

During the advance of Kirkland, Walker gained ground to the left, crossing Broad Run. Finding that Kirkland's left was gaining ground to the right, General Walker recrossed the run. Before he could form on Kirkland's left, Kirkland had been driven back.

General Walker, during the rest of the engagement, supported a battery from Poague's battalion, placed on a hill about seven or eight hundred yards from the railroad. This engagement was over before either Walker or Davis could be brought into action.

After the repulse of Cooke and Kirkland, I reformed my line, and advanced again to within about five hundred yards of the railroad where I remained during the night. No second attack was ordered, as I was convinced that the position of the enemy was too strong to be attacked in front. The position now occupied enabled me to avail myself of an opportunity to resume the attack, in the event of an attack being made on the enemy's left flank by General Ewell's troops, or others.

I deem it but just to the troops commanded by Generals Cooke and Kirkland to say, that with the exception of one regiment, all behaved well under the circumstances.

It must by borne in mind that when the attack was made by Cooke and Kirkland, the enemy's force in front was unknown. It turned out that a much larger force was in our front than was supposed--one, if not the greater portion of two, entire corps. The position accidentally occupied by the enemy was as strong, or stronger, naturally and artificially, than military art could have made it by many hours' work. The enemy's left flank extended a mile, or three-quarters, to my right; he was not compelled to manoeuvre to get into position, marching by the flank; he was already in line of battle, protected by a railroad embankment, at a convenient height to shelter his men; with hills in his rear admirably adapted to render effective his numerous batteries. No military man, who has examined the ground, or who understands the position and the disproportionate numbers of the contending forces, would attach blame to these two brigades for meeting with a repulse. My confidence in these troops is not shaken by the result, and I feel satisfied on fields to come they will vindicate the high reputation they have gained on many a hard-fought battle-field. Had they succeeded in driving the enemy in their front before them, and carried the hills beyond the railroad, it is probable the two brigades would have been captured by the enemy unengaged on their right.

I beg leave to bring to the notice of the Lieutenant-General commanding the gallantry displayed by Generals Cooke and Kirkland, both of whom were severely wounded. I regret that, in the absence of the reports of brigade and regimental commanders, I am unable to name the officers who deserve special mention for good conduct. A report of casualties is enclosed. My thanks are due to my personal staff.

Very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

H. Heth, Major-General.


Report of General R. H. Anderson.

headquarters Anderson's division, near Rappahannock Station, Va., October 21, 1863.
Captain W. N. Starke, A. A. General Third Army Corps:
Captain: At half-past 2 o'clock in the afternoon of the fourteenth instant when near Bristoe Station, I received orders from the Lieutenant-General commanding the Third corps, to send McIntosh's battalion of artillery to the front, and to move two brigades of my division to the right of the road by which we had been approaching the station, to intercept a column of the enemy's troops which was moving along the railroad towards the station.

Posey's and Perry's brigades were immediately put in motion through a piece of woods, to execute the order, but before they arrived within striking distance, the enemy moved off at double-quick, and disappeared in a piece of pine forest near the railroad.

The brigades continued to advance towards the railroad, in the direction which had been indicated by Lieutenant-General Hill, until they found the enemy strongly posted behind the [615] railroad embankments and cuts, with a battery of artillery so planted as to enfilade the road, and sweep the open piece of ground between them and ourselves.

The column which I had been directed to intercept had got into position along the railroad, and I halted the troops until I could examine the ground between them and the enemy. Whilst so engaged, I met Brigadier-General Long, who proposed to place some of his artillery upon a slight eminence which afforded a good position for artillery. To this I gladly assented, as I deemed it necessary to the further advance of the troops of my command.

At this time I received notice that the troops of the Second corps were coming up on my right, and I was directed to form a line of battle, so as to connect my right with the left of that corps. The other brigades of my division were then ordered up, and the line was formed as quickly as the nature of the ground would permit. During these movements of my command, Heth's division became hotly engaged, and a brigade of his troops, near the left of my division, was driven back. The enemy's skirmishers advanced through the gap, and General Long found it impracticable to post his artillery. Perry's brigade checked the further advance of the enemy, and Mahone's was put in motion to regain the ground from which our men had been driven, but before it reached the place, it was reoccupied by another brigade of Heth's division. Perry's and Posey's brigade then drove back the enemy's line of skirmishers, and General Long's artillery got into position; but it was now nearly dark, and, after a few minutes' cannonading, to which the enemy replied warmly, the firing was discontinued.

The troops of my division remained in line of battle during the night. In the morning the enemy were gone.

I regret to report that in this affair Captain Thomas L. Barrand, of the Sixteenth Virginia regiment, an excellent officer, was killed. Brigadier-General Posey and Lieutenant-Colonel Baya, commanding Eighth Florida regiment, received severe wounds, the former in the left thigh, and the latter in the right hip; and Captain A. R. Jones, Twelfth Mississippi regiment, was wounded in the right leg. The total casualties were eleven (11) killed and forty-three (43) wounded.

Very respectfully,

Your most obedient servant,

R. H. Anderson, Major-General, commanding.


Report of Brigadier-General H. H. Walker.

headquarters Walker's brigade, October 21, 1863.
Major R. H. Finney, A. A. General, Heth's Division:
Major: In accordance with circular from division headquarters, I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by my brigade in the engagement at Bristoe Station, on the fourteenth of October, 1863:

My brigade was formed in line of battle in a woods, about one hundred yards in rear of General Kirkland's, my right covering his right, his brigade being nearly double the length of mine. While in this position General Heth informed me the enemy was running; that he would not have time for me to get upon Kirkland's left, but that I must do so on the march. This I found impossible to do. Kirkland's brigade soon got into the open field, and commenced gaining ground to the right, by a wheel, while mine, already behind and on the circumference, had a dense woods to march through for half a mile. This distance brought my brigade on Broad Run. While crossing this in line of battle, Kirkland became hotly engaged. Seeing his left gaining ground so fast to the front and right, I marched my brigade by the right flank, again crossed Broad Run, and double-quicked my brigade to try and catch up with Kirkland's left. When I got into the open field I saw his left had been repulsed and was falling back in utter confusion. I succeeded in getting the three right regiments of my brigade interposed between the enemy's advance and the battery on the hill at the cemetery. A portion of Kirkland's brigade (two regiments) were then rallied on the right of these regiments. The four regiments on the left of my brigade were halted on the crest of the hill at the cemetery, abreast with the battery at that place. The line remained thus until the regiments of Kirkland's brigade were moved, under direction of General Kirkland's Adjutant-General, to the right and rear of the battery at the cemetery. Captain Hill,.of General Hill's staff, then brought an order for this battery to move to the right. I told him I was supporting the battery, and asked him if I should move with it. He replied: “Yes.” I had scarcely gotten half way down the hill with my brigade when Major McIntosh reported to me that his supports having retired he had to withdraw his men from the battery on the right of the road, and that if I could get a regiment there in time, I might retake it. This I endeavored to do immediately, and ordered a regiment to double-quick to the position, but before it arrived the guns were out of sight. Simultaneously with Major McIntosh, Major Finney, Adjutant-General, reported that the enemy were again advancing in the direction of the cemetery. I immediately deployed a regiment as skirmishers; again formed my brigade in its original position, and remained so until new dispositions were made for the night.

I omitted to state at the commencement, before my brigade was put into line, General Hill detached the Fourteenth Tennessee regiment, and directed it to take a position as skirmishers on the right of his line. This regiment rejoined the brigade the next morning. Enclosed is a list of casualties during the engagement.

Respectfully submitted,

H. H. Walker, Brigadier-General.


[616]

Report of Colonel Hall.

headquarters Cooke's brigade, near Rappahannock Station, Virginia, October 22, 1863.
Major: I have the honor to report that, on the fourteenth instant, on arriving within one or two miles of Bristoe Station, the brigade formed a line of battle on the right of the road in the following order: first, Forty-sixth North Carolina; second, Fifteenth North Carolina; third, Twenty-seventh North Carolina, and the Forty-eighth North Carolina on the left. After forming we advanced through a very thick undergrowth. On clearing the woods and arriving in the first opening, the brigade was halted a few moments to correct the alignment. The enemy was discovered massed upon our left beyond the railroad, and to the left of the road leading to the station. Being then in command of the extreme right regiment, I immediately discovered that the enemy was in heavy force on my right, and busily engaged in getting in position. In a few moments we were ordered to advance, and soon after the enemy's skirmishers commenced firing on my right flank. I discovered the line of battle behind the railroad, extending as far on my right as I could see. Also, a mass of troops lying perpendicular to the road, and on the side next to us, from which body an advance was made on my right in considerable numbers. I then sent word to General Cooke that I was much annoyed by the fire and seriously threatened. I sent my right company to engage the skirmishers on my right, but they were soon driven in. I then changed the front of my regiment on the first company and checked their advance. The brigade had again halted, just before getting under fire, and I moved back just in time to join the line in its final advance. Soon after getting under fire, I found that the left of the brigade had commenced firing as they advanced, which was taken up along the whole line. Shortly afterwards information was brought me that General Cooke was wounded, and that I was in command. I ordered my regiment to cease firing, and passed up to the centre of the brigade, stopping the firing as I went. The brigade was then within two hundred yards of the railroad. On getting on the top of the hill, I found the brigade suffering from a heavy flank fire of artillery, from the right — the number of guns I cannot say, evidently more than one battery. Also, the guns on the left and rear of the railroad had an enfilading fire on us. The musketry fire from the line of railroad was very heavy. I soon saw that a rapid advance must be made, or to withdraw. I chose the former. I passed the word to the right regiments to charge, which was done in what I conceive to be in good style. The Fourth regiment was somewhat confused. But I sent the Lieutenant-Colonel commanding word to follow the line, which he did with about two-thirds of his regiment, the balance giving way. The brigade charged up to within forty yards of the railroad, and from the severity of the fire, and from then seeing the extreme left of the line falling back, they fell back; the two right regiments in good order; the third (Twenty-seventh North Carolina) in an honorable confusion, from the fact that between one-half and two-thirds of the regiment had been killed and wounded, they being in a far more exposed position than the other two regiments, and had gone further. The Forty-eighth, in advancing, encountered the whole line falling back. I halted the brigade in the first field we came to, about four hundred yards from the enemy's line, from which position we fell back beyond the second field, on seeing the enemy come out on our right and left. After a short time the brigade of General Davis joined us on the right, when we again advanced to within four hundred yards of the enemy, and, on seeing the right brigade halt, I halted, where we remained during the night. As there was a battery of artillery lost during the engagement, and from its proximity to the brigade the loss may be laid to it, I will state that I knew nothing of the guns being there until we had fallen back to the second field. The guns may have been in our rear, but they must certainly have been placed there after we advanced; and, in retreating, from our losses, both by casualties and straggling, shortened our line so much that, with the addition of one of General Kirkland's regiments (Forty-fourth North Carolina), which joined our left, the left of the brigade was some distance to the right of the guns. On learning the guns were there, and in danger, I despatched a portion of one regiment to the relief, but the guns had been taken off before the relief arrived. I would respectfully state that I have been with the brigade during some of the heaviest engagements of the war, and have never seen the men more cool and determined, and that their falling back resulted from no fault of theirs, but from the great superiority of numbers and position of the enemy, and entire want of support, both in rear and prolongation of our lines.

I have the honor to be,

Respectfully,

E. D. Hall, Colonel, commanding.


Report of Major McIntosh.

headquarters McIntosh's battalion artillery, in camp, near Beverly Ford, Oct. 23, 1863.
Captain W. N. Starke, A. A. G. Third Army Corps:
Captain: In accordance with your request, I have the honor to submit the following report, being duplicate of one already furnished Colonel Walker, of the part taken by this battalion in the engagement at Bristoe Station on the afternoon of the fourteenth instant:

When within about a mile of the station, I received an order from Major-General Anderson, through Major Duncan, his staff officer, to move my battalion to the front. Passing the division, I halted a moment upon the open ground [617] where the descent to the railroad begins; and Major Duncan saying, as he joined me again, that he had directions from Lieutenant-General Hill where to place me, I moved immediately on, attracting some fire from the enemy's batteries. Observing that I was approaching near the enemy, I ordered Captain Hunt to take his two Whitworth guns out of the column arid place them in the best position he could find on the hills in rear. Captain Johnson's battery had previously been detached by order of General Anderson, and left at Broad Run. With the remaining nine guns, I proceeded to follow Major Duncan, who pointed out an open space between two pine thickets as the position which I was to occupy. Our line of infantry was then in the act of advancing over the hill at this point, and drew a heavy musketry fire on them in rear. I therefore halted my column at the base of the rising ground in front, sending word by Lieutenant Houston, my Ordnance Officer, who accompanied me on the field, to Lieutenant-General Hill, why I had done so, and ordering the pieces to draw up under cover, I proceeded to look at the ground with Major Duncan. On casting my eye over the field, I saw and represented to Major Duncan the exposure of the situation, because of its proximity to the railroad bank, being only four or five hundred yards distant, where the enemy's line of battle was posted, and in full view of a number of opposing batteries, stretching from the left to the extreme right. He (Major Duncan) left, saying he would represent the situation to General Hill. In the meantime our line had advanced a short distance over the crest of the hill, and exhibiting symptoms of wavering, I ordered up five light rifle-guns, consisting of the Second Rockbridge battery, three guns, Lieutenant Wallace commanding, and a section of Hunt's battery, under Lieutenant Crenshaw, and directed them to open with shell, firing over the heads of our men.

Lieutenant Houston returned just at this time, with a message from General Hill, that he wished me to take a position as quickly as possible, and I therefore ordered up a section of Rice's Napoleon battery, placing it to the left of the rifle-guns. Before this order was executed, however, our line of infantry in front had broken, and falling back to the guns, passed on to the rear; my officers joined me in endeavoring to rally and stop them upon the slope in rear of the guns, but without avail. Lieutenant Wilson while thus engaged was struck down and seriously injured by a shell.

The ground being clear of our infantry in front, I directed a round or two of canister to be thrown at the enemy along the railroad, but pointed the fire chiefly against the opposing battery, which concentrated upon me a converging fire from three directions. I despatched a messenger hastily to General Hill, to say that I was badly enfiladed from the right, and regarded the position untenable, which message the General has since informed me he did not receive.

Believing I could obtain a position to the right, where I could divert the enemy's fire, I proceeded in that direction with the two guns undisposed of, a section of Napoleon, under Lieutenant Price, and met Major Duncan on the way, who told me guns were needed in that quarter, and who showed me a position from which the enemy's battery,then annoying me so much, could be taken almost in rear. He informed me at the same time that General Long would have up a number of guns in a few minutes, and as one of Lieutenant Price's was detained by an accident on the way, I deemed it imprudent to open with one gun, and ordered the Lieutenant to report to General Long as soon as he came up, and desired him to open immediately.

Returning to the first position, where I had left seven guns engaged, I observed that the fire had ceased. On inquiring the reason of Lieutenant Wallace, then in command, he replied that he had not men enough left to work the guns; that the enemy was advancing, and he had just been to look for infantry support. I at once ordered the guns to be dragged down the hill by hand, and the remaining men, who were lying in the bush, started forward; but at that instant, a body of the enemy, apparently skirmishers, appeared stealing over the crest of the hill, and in a moment more were among the guns. I saw it was too late to remove them, and directed the limbers and caissons to be drawn off on the edge of the wood, and the men to retire without noise.

Believing the number of the enemy at the guns to be small, and that they could still be recovered with prompt action, I rode rapidly in search of a body of infantry, but the plain in my rear was bare of all troops. After some minutes, I found a brigade-General Walker's, I think — and reported to him the condition of affairs, and desired him to throw forward a body as quickly as possible.

A few minutes after I observed General Heth approaching when I informed him also of my situation. Lieutenant Wallace informs me that he saw the enemy roll off the guns by hand, in a few minutes after they were taken possession of. The two Napoleon guns of Captain Rice were both disabled, having their axles broken, and the cheek of one shivered; one was dragged off before the approach of the enemy. The other was recovered the next morning. All the ammunition in the limbers of the pieces was expended by Captain Rice, his caissons being kept in rear. He, estimates the time during which he was engaged, at one hour; his casualties were eight men wounded, and ten horses disabled.

The five rifle pieces, which preceded Captain Rice in the action, were engaged probably an hour and a quarter. Lieutenant Wallace's three guns fired two hundred and four rounds. His casualties were two Lieutenants wounded, and two men killed and thirteen wounded; Lieutenant Crenshaw's section fired only twenty-five [618] rounds; his casualties were one man killed and sixteen wounded.

The total of casualties was three men killed and thirty-nine wounded; forty-four horses were disabled. The section of Napoleon guns, under Lieutenant Price, reported to Lieutenant-Colonel Jones, of General Long's command, and was engaged late in the afternoon, without suffering any loss in men or horses. The section of Whitworths fired eight shots at the enemy, also without loss.

I am, Captain, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

D. G. Mcintosh, Major Artillery.

1 see page 540, documents, Vol. 7, rebellion record.

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