In front of Hagood and Bushrod Johnson the fighting was stubborn and prolonged. The enemy slowly retired from Johnson's right, and took a strong position on the ridge in front of Proctor's creek, massing near the turnpike, and occupying advantageous ground at the house and grove of Charles Friend. At last Johnson, having brushed the enemy from his right flank in the woods, with some assistance from the Washington Artillery, and cleared his front, rested his troops in the shelter of the exterior works. One of the captured pieces having opened on the enemy's masses, he finally fell back behind the woods and ridge at Proctor's creek, though his skirmish line continued the engagement some hours longer. Further movement was here suspended to wait communications from Whiting or the sound of his approach, and to reorganize the troops, which had become more or less disorganized. * * * At 4 P. M. all hope of Whiting's approach was gone, and I reluctantly abandoned so much of my plan as contemplated more than a vigorous pursuit of Butler, and driving him back to his fortified base. * * * The more glorious results anticipated were lost by the hesitation of the left wing, and the premature halt of the Walthall column before obstacles in neither case sufficient to have deterred from the execution of the movements prescribed.
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