going back through the woods, some of the men lost their way and were captured by running into a regiment of the enemy, which was on his right in the woods.
From these causes the loss in those two regiments was quite severe.
Colonel Wm. R. Terry
and Lieutenant Colonel P. Hairston
, of the 24th Virginia, were severely wounded, and Lieutenant Colonel J. C. Badham
of the 5th North Carolina was killed, while a number of company officers of both regiments were among the killed and wounded.
The loss in the 23rd North Carolina and 38th Virginia was slight, but Lieutenant Colonel Whittle
of the latter regiment received a wound in the arm. The brigade fell back to the position from which it advanced, without having been pursued by the enemy, and was there re-formed.
The troops of the enemy encountered by my brigade in this action consisted of Hancock
's brigade and some eight or ten pieces of artillery.
The charge made by the 24th Virginia and the 5th North Carolina Regiments on this force was one of the most brilliant of the war, and its character was such as to elicit applause even from the newspaper correspondents from the enemy's camps.
Had one of the brigades which had come up to the position from which mine advanced been ordered up to the support of Colonel McRae
, the probability is that a very different result would have taken place, and perhaps Hancock
's whole force would have been captured, as its route for retreat was over a narrow mill-dam.
, in a telegraphic dispatch at the time, reported that my command had been repulsed by “a real bayonet charge,” and he reiterates the statement in his report, that Hancock
repulsed the troops opposed to him by a bayonet charge, saying: “Feigning to retreat slowly, he awaited their onset, and then turned upon them: after some terrific volleys of musketry he charged them with the bayonet, routing and dispersing their whole force.”
This statement is entirely devoid of truth.
My regiments were not repulsed, but retired