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[115] engaged, the regiments pressed upon their heels, and the fire became hot along our whole front before emerging from the woods. The regiments were brought into line of battle to support the skirmishers, who, without retiring behind them to reform, became in many places intermingled in their ranks, and so continued through-out the day. We drove the enemy before us out of the woods back into the abatis, where they had several regiments drawn up behind a fence to support them. I am of opinion that the line of skirmishers upon our right, on the opposite side of the road, did not advance so rapidly as our own, for Major Wilson, of the Second Mississippi battalion, reports that the right of our advancing line was subjected to a fire both from the front and flank. We had now reached the edge of the wood, where the abatis impeded our further advance, and the troops were under heavy fire. Sending my Aid, Lieutenant Halsey, my Adjutant General, Captain Meem, and a courier to order the several regiments of the centre and left to move by the left flank, as previously concerted, and endeavor to turn the obstacles in front, I repaired to the right of my line to give the same orders. I now learned that Colonel McRae, suffering from previous illness, had been compelled to retire in a state of utter physical exhaustion. I had relied much upon his services in looking after the right of our long line in the woods. A portion of his regiment I found temporarily confused from causes no way reflecting upon their gallantry, and I assisted Major Sinclair to rally them, and they again went forward under his command (see his report). I also assisted Colonel Christie, Twenty-third North Carolina, to reform and send forward a portion of his regiment, which had halted under the impression that some order had been given to retire (see that report). About the same time, Major Maury having fallen, I assisted in keeping the Twenty-fourth Virginia to its place, some embarrassment and delay having been produced by his fall. During this time I was without any staff or couriers, having dispatched my Aid and Adjutant-General to carry orders, and my unemployed couriers were either wounded, dismounted or separated from me in going through the woods.

Hurrying forward in person to the abatis, I found that as the regiments emerged from the woods they overlapped each other as they deployed, and being thus in many places huddled together, were suffering terribly from the enemy's fire. The regimental commanders who had received my orders to move by the left flank were unable to effect the movement in good order under the galling


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James Wilson (1)
Sinclair (1)
J. Lawrence Meem (1)
D. A. McRae (1)
Dabney H. Maury (1)
D. P. Halsey (1)
E. G. Christie (1)
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