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[148] Whilst I was advancing and driving the enemy's skirmishers, I saw a brigade retiring in haste and confusion up the road in my rear. A moment after, I saw Thomas rolling up from the right and also passing in my rear, pressed by the enemy coming up the road. My brigade, fighting the enemy in front, and being thus uncovered upon the right and rear, seeing all the other troops retiring and themselves in danger of being surrounded and captured, also began to roll up from the right and fell back a short distance in confusion. It was mortifying, but under the circumstances could not be helped. The left regiment, the Rifles, remained unbroken and came off in good order. The brigade was not demoralized or panic stricken, but acted from necessity. They reformed at once in rear of Poague's artillery, which opened upon and checked the advancing enemy. At this moment the enemy had even flanked the eminence where the artillery stood — their balls reaching that position from the south side of the road, and Lieutenant-General Hill directed me to cross the road and drive them back. I obeyed at once, and in crossing the road came for the first time in contact with General Longstreet's forces, then just coming up. Soon after, I was directed to recross the road and proceed to the left and endeavor to open communication with the right of General Ewell. We drove the enemy's sharpshooters from a house and had a sharp skirmish, but in a short time succeeded in connecting with the right of General Ewell. We here threw up breastworks and lay upon our arms the remainder of the day.

In these operations I am grieved to have to report that our loss was heavy, being an aggregate of 481 killed and wounded, including 43 missing. A full statement of casualties has already been rendered. Colonel John L. Miller, Lieutenant J. R. McKnight and Lieutenant J. A. Garvin, of the Twelfth; Lieutenant S. L. Wier, of the Thirteenth; Lieutenant B. J. Watkins and Lieutenant J. H. Tolar, of the Rifles, were killed; and Lieutenant-Colonel E. F. Bookter, Lieutenant J. A. Watson, of the Twelfth; Lieutenant B. S. Howard, Lieutenant H. H. Heise, Captain Josiah Cox, Captain John G. Barnwell, Lieutenant L. G. Bellot and Captain W. A. Kelly, of the First; Lieutenant J. A. Beard, of the Thirteenth; Major H. H. Harper and Captain J. W. McCarly, of the Fourteenth, and Lieutenant J. H. Robins, Captain R. Junkin, Lieutenant J. R. Saddle, Lieutenant T. B. Means, of the Rifles, were wounded.


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