My brigade at that time numbered less than 1,000 officers and men present, and Grigsby
had between two and three hundred; yet with this small force we confronted, for a long time, Sumner
's formidable column, and held it in check until reinforcements arrived to our assistance.
Had we retired from the fear of being flanked or cut off, the enemy must have obtained possession of the woods, where we were, and, as a necessary consequence, of the hills in their rear, which would have resulted in a decisive defeat to us, and a probable destruction of our army.
While these operations on our extreme left were going on, all of which transpired in the forenoon, two other divisions of Sumner
's corps, French
's and Richardson
's, had been moving against our centre occupied by General D. H. Hill
, and were forcing it back after a hard struggle, just about the time I was contending with the two columns of the enemy in the woods.
A portion of this force moving against Hood
near the Dunkard Church, was met and repulsed by Kershaw
's and Cobb
's brigades of McLaws
' division, the portion of Barksdale
's brigade which had not come to my assistance, and Ransom
's brigade of Walker
's division, at the same time that the force opposed to me was repulsed.
Not long after my brigade had been re-formed and placed in its former position, Colonel Hodges
, in command of Armistead
's brigade of Anderson
's division, came up and took the place of my brigade, which latter was then posted along the edge of the plateau on Hodges
' right, facing towards the Hagerstown pike
Subsequently General McLaws
's brigade on my right, and Kershaw
's and Cobb
's brigades on the left of Hodges
'. My line as established along the edge of the woods and plateau after the repulse of the enemy, extended beyond where the left of Jackson
's division rested at daylight, and embraced inside of it all of our killed and wounded, and nearly the whole of that of the enemy, in this last affair on our left.