crossed the cut, the brigade was posted, the First on the right, the Thirteenth (Colonel Edwards
) next, then the Twelfth (Colonel Barnes
), and then the Fourteenth (Colonel McGowan
); the last mentioned regiment thrown back along the worm fence I have mentioned and facing the north.
's Rifles, Colonel Marshall
, were placed behind the centre in reserve.
Our line thus made an obtuse angle, pointing towards the enemy.
The rest of our division was posted as follows: Thomas
' brigade of Georgians on our right, behind where the grade of the railroad bed began to rise from a cut to an embankment, and next to them Fields
' brigade of Virginians
, the right of our divisison.
's and Pender
's brigade of North Carolinians, and Archer
's of Tennesseeans, were held in support of the first line, Branch
in the rear of our brigade.
's Light Division was posted and ready for the day's bloody work.
's division, under General Lawton
, formed the centre of Jackson
's line, and Taliaferro
's, under General Starke
, was on the extreme right.
We had been posted in our position but a few moments, I think, when the crack of the rifles in the woods in our front informed us that our skirmishers had come upon the enemy.
We were eagerly listening to the dropping fire in our front, when General Gregg
came up to me and telling me that it was desired to feel the enemy and ascertain what the force before us was, but that General Jackson
did not wish a general engagement brought on, he ordered me to move the first regiment across the cut, crossing one rank at a time; and his instructions were, that when I had got the regiment safely across I would be met by Lieutenant Fellows
, of the Thirteenth, who would guide me to where the skirmishers had engaged the enemy, upon coming up with whom I was to give them two or three volleys, and then charge them with the bayonet.
How I, a regimental officer, was to be responsible for bringing on a general engagement, if I carried out these instructions, I did not very well understand; but you recollect, my comrades, that the General
was very deaf, and on such occasions very impatient of explanations, so as my orders were at least clear, whatever might be the consequences, I hastened to obey them, and under his supervision his old regiment was crossed over the cut, and left him upon its adventurous expedition.
Under Lieutenant Fellows
' guidance I changed our front somewhat to the left, and the regiment advanced gallantly to its work.
We had advanced but a little distance, however, and had not reached the point at which the volleys were to be given and the charge with the bayonet made, when, interrupting the programme thus marked out for us,