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[277] on the hill on the turnpike west of the railroad. The forces in front of Johnson's brigade contented themselves with threatening our right and firing artillery at the batteries and infantry in vicinity of Craig's house. Those on the east of Ashton Creek opened about 2 P. M. with artillery and infantry fire, to which we replied very successfully, so that they for a time seemed about to withdraw, and the firing ceased.

General Hagood was instructed to cover the turnpike with his left regiment. After some delay this was accomplished by the foresight and interposition of General Hill, just in time to meet the second line of the enemy, which had been moved under cover of the woods by the right flank, and now appeared bearing down on and flanking Hagood's left. General Hagood now changed the front of his left regiment so as to meet the enemy on his left. In this movement this regiment was exposed to a heavy cross fire. At this juncture occurred the sharpest and most critical part of the conflict.

The two pieces of artillery stationed in the pike, on the west of the railroad, was, at call of General Hagood, sent to the left; and the second regiment from the left was drawn out to support the left regiment, the regiment on the right closing in to fill the interval. General Hagood's left now advanced, drove the enemy back with heavy loss, and regained the railroad to the left of his former position. The enemy again advanced on Hagood's front, his brigade being under cover of the railroad, and were driven back with heavy loss. During both conflicts the artillery on the left of Craig's House played handsomely upon the enemy's line which had advanced on the east side of Ashton Creek and attacked Hagood's front. The pieces nearest Craig's House had several horses killed and one of the carriages damaged. The artillery sent to the left was badly served, and gave but little assistance. Lieutenant-Colonel Estleman brought up in the evening a battery of the Washington artillery, which was sent to the support of Hagood's brigade, but it was then too late to afford any assistance. The infantry ceased firing, save a few sharp-shooters, about 4 o'clock P. M. The artillery continued fire until about 6 o'clock, when the enemy retired from the field. The enemy's loss is supposed to be about 1,000 men. Prisoners have estimated it much higher. The Provost Marshal of Johnson's brigade reports twenty-one prisoners captured. I distinguished four brigades of Federals in the field. Their forces are reported to have consisted of five brigades, commanded by Brigadier-General W. T. H. Brooks. Our aggregate

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Ashton Creek (Virginia, United States) (2)
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