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[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

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T. T. Kirkland (12)
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