road,’ and ordered to push on. This we did as briskly as the condition of the road would allow, passing for some distance through a thickly-wooded section of scrubby growth, when we reached a field of considerable extent on the left of the road.
When the head of the Sixth, the rear regiment of Anderson
's Brigade, reached the opening, I was ordered to form ‘on right by file into line’ on the left of the road and follow the regiments of the brigade which preceded me. While my regiment was forming, a glance at the field showed a line of works on the other side of it, extending across the road and across the field into the woods on the left.
The view on the right was limited, being shut off by the woods, which continued on the right of the road farther down and nearer to the works.
The regiments of our brigade were moving down one after the other to this line, which was evidently occupied by our troops.
There was a redoubt near the road, from which artillery was slowly firing.
I was told that D. H. Hill
had taken that line and was himself at that moment in the redoubt.
As we moved down on the track of the regiments preceding us, they, apparently in close column of regiments near the works, moved by the left flank along the line towards where it passed through the woods.
On approaching the woods they received a volley, which was undoubtedly a surprise, and for the moment created some confusion in the heads of these columns.
I at once ordered a change of direction to the left.
(It was there that the memorable amendment to Hardee
's version was made, which seemed ever to be remembered against me and doubtless many now present can recall—‘Big left wheel.’) We were in the act of changing direction sufficiently to present a direct front to the fire of the enemy when I received an order from General Anderson
‘to sweep the enemy out of those woods.’
Without halting, the order was given to fix bayonets, and we moved on to an abattis that was made of slashings in the edge of the woods.
As we were about to enter the abattis, I halted the line for a moment to investigate a line of men with white rags on their hats, found lying down on our side of the abattis to the left of where we were going in. They proved to be the Twenty-seventh Georgia Regiment (Colonel Zachry
), of D. H. Hill
I told the colonel what my orders were, and he proposed to join us. Replying that we would be glad to have him do so, we were about to advance when he informed me that a regiment of our friends (South Carolinians, he thought,) were coming up on his left, and requested us to wait for them.
I at first acceded to this request, but after waiting for a few minutes, told the commander of the