. The attacking column which Lane
encountered, got up to within a very short distance of a salient defended by Walker
's brigade of Heth
's division, under Colonel Mayo
, before it was discovered, as there was a pine thicket infront, under cover of which the advance was made.
A heavy fire of musketry from Walker
's brigade and Thomas
's which was on its left, and a fire of artillery from a considerable number of guns on Heth
's lines, were opened with tremendous effect upon the attacking column, and it was driven back with heavy loss, leaving its dead in front of our works.
This affair took place under the eye of General Lee
himself.” * * * *
General Lee compliments the sharp-shooters of Lane's brigade.
It is due the corps of sharp-shooters of my brigade to state that after the flank movement on the 12th of May, General Lee
sent for me and told me that he had witnessed the gallantry of these brave men, as well as the cheerfulness with which they had endured the hardships of the day, and that he had such a high appreciation of their services as to make him unwilling to order them forward again, but as they had been thoroughly tried and he wished to make another very important reconnoisance on the Fredericksburg
road he would be glad if they would make it for him. I at once told him that however tired they might be I knew they would go wherever he wished them.
To which he replied, “I will not send them unless they are willing to go.”
I went for Captain W. T. Nicholson
, at that time commanding them, and introduced him to General Lee
, who repeated what he had just said to me. In a few minutes afterwards our sharp-shooters passed General Lee
with cheers, and again pushed vigorously to the front.