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[416] enemy held position. My command was increased by the addition of Jenkins' brigade, who here, in the presence of the enemy, allowed themselves to be supplied with but ten rounds of ammunition, although armed with the most approved Enfield musket. I moved this command and W. H. F. Lee's secretly through the woods to a position, and hoped to effect a surprise upon the enemy's rear; but Hampton's and Fitz. Lee's brigades, which had been ordered to follow me, unfortunately debouched into the open ground, disclosing the movement and causing a corresponding movement of a large force of the enemy's cavalry. Having been informed that Generals Hampton and Lee were up, I sent for them to come forward, so that I could show them, at a glance from the elevated ground I held, the situation, and arrange for further operations. My message was so long in finding General Hampton that he never reached me, and General Lee remained, as it was not deemed advisable at the time the message was delivered for both to leave their commands.

Before General Hampton had reached where I was, the enemy had deployed a heavy line of sharpshooters, and were advancing towards our position, which was very strong. Our artillery had, however, left the ,crest, which it was essential for it to occupy, on account of being too short range to compete with the longer range guns of the enemy, but I sent orders for its return. Jenkins' brigade was chiefly employed dismounted, and fought with decided effect until the ten rounds were expended, and then retreated under circumstances of difficulty and exposure, which entailed the loss of valuable men.

The left, where Hampton's and Lee's brigades were, by this time became heavily engaged as dismounted skirmishers.

My plan was to employ the enemy in front with sharpshooters and move a command of cavalry upon their left flank from the position lately held by me; but the falling back of Jenkins' men (that officer was wounded the day previous before reporting to me, and his brigade was now commanded by Colonel Ferguson, Sixteenth Virginia cavalry) caused a like movement of those on the left, and the enemy, sending forward a squadron or two, were about to cut off and capture a portion of our dismounted sharpshooters. To prevent this, I ordered forward the nearest cavalry regiment (one of W. H. F. Lee's), quickly to charge this force of cavalry. It was gallantly done, and about the same time a portion of General Fitz. Lee's command charged on the left — the First

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