some distance beyond the point from which our regiment had before been driven back.
But finding the enemy still strong upon our right, and again receiving his fire from that flank and in our rear, I halted the First, and throwing back the right wing, endeavored thus to hold our position, which now became necessary for the safety of the Twelfth, as you had pressed forward without us. Captain Shooter
returned at this time, and informed me that General Gregg
had sent Colonel Edwards
with the Thirteenth to our support on the right, but the denseness of the undergrowth preventing our seeing him, or his finding us, I sent Sergeant L. A. Smith
, who volunteered to go to communicate with Colonel Edwards
, and to guide him to our position.
This Sergeant Smith
did at great personal danger, the enemy's sharpshooters having possession of the woods between the advance of the Thirteenth and ourselves.
, in moving to our support, had met the enemy in such force as to compel him to engage them, and thus prevented his effecting a junction with the First.
About this time I received a message from Lieutenant-Colonel Jones
of the Twelfth, requesting me to move the First forward to the support of the Twelfth. Colonel Barnes
had pushed you upon the enemy to some distance in advance, and you were then being pressed by them in superior numbers.
The enemy, however, upon our right rendered it impossible for the First to advance; indeed, it was all we could do to hold our own position, and had we moved forward, both regiments, as it appeared to me, would have been taken in rear and cut off. Fortunately, just at this time, Colonel Marshall
with the Rifles came up and advanced to the support of the Twelfth.
The four regiments were then recalled, and we were again posted behind the railroad cut.
In this affair the four regiments engaged suffered severely, and lost some of our very best men, but it will amuse you, serious as the subject is, to learn how the enemy over-estimated our numbers, especially when I read you the bombastic and extravagant accounts of it by the redoubtable Milroy
, two of whose regiments it was that attacked the right flank of the First, thus preventing its coming to your support, and preventing the Thirteenth from forming a junction with the First.
reports, after describing the position and the order of his line of battle:1
‘In this order our whole line advanced from point to point, taking advantage ’