Eighth Virginia, to the support of Colonel Jenifer
, directing him to form line of battle immediately in the rear of Jenifer
's command, and that the combined force should then drive the enemy to the river, while he, General Evans
, supported the right of the movement with artillery.
This movement was made soon after noon, and the opposing forces at once became hotly engaged, the Confederates
advancing on the Federals
, who held a strong position in front of the woods.
Learning, at about this time, that an opposing force was gathering on his left, and that he would soon be vigorously attacked by a body of infantry that appeared in that direction, and by a body of dismounted cavalry that had deployed in his front, and apprehensive of being flanked, Devens
retired his regiment to an open space in the woods, in front of the bluff, and prepared to receive an attack.
To ascertain about reinforcements, Devens
went back to the bluff at about 2 p. m., where he found Colonel Baker
, who directed him to form his regiment on the right of the position that he proposed to occupy, while Baker
placed 300 of the Twentieth Massachusetts on the left and advanced in front of these his, California
regiment, with two guns, supported by two companies of the Fifteenth Massachusetts.
At about the same hour General Stone
ferried a strong force across the river at Edwards
' ferry, to make a demonstration on Evans
' right, leaving Colonel Baker
in command at Ball
then telegraphed to McClellan
: ‘There has been sharp firing on the right of our line, and our troops appear to be advancing there under Baker
The left, under Gorman
, has advanced its skirmishers nearly one mile, and, if the movement continues successful, will turn the enemy's right.’
At about 2:30 p. m., General Evans
, having the advantage of a concealed, shorter and inner line, seeing that the enemy was being constantly reinforced, ordered Colonel Burt
, with the Eighteenth Mississippi, to attack the Federal
left, while Hunton
attacked his front, holding the attack at Edwards
' ferry in check by batteries from his intrenchments.
As Colonel Burt
reached his position, the enemy, concealed in a ravine, opened on him a furious fire, which compelled him to divide his regiment and stop the flank movement that had already begun.
At about 3 p. m.,. Featherston
, with the Seventeenth Mississippi, was sent at a double-quick to