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[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

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