a hill, and not over 350 or 400 yards distant. At first I took them for friends, and ordered the men not to fire on them. To ascertain certainly who they were, I sprang upon my horse and galloped to the top of the hill to our left, when I had a nearer and better view. There were two regiments of them. They halted about three hundred yards in front of their own battery on the hill-side, wheeled into line, with their backs towards us, and fired a volley, apparently at their battery. This deceived me, and I shouted to my men to fire upon the battery, that these were friends, who would charge and take it in a moment. Fortunately, my order was not heard or not obeyed by all the gunners, for some of them commenced firing into this line, which brought them to the right-about, and they commenced advancing towards us, when their uniform disclosed fully their character. I instantly ordered the second section of my battery to limber up and come on the hill where I was, intending to open on them with canister. Anticipating this movement, and intending to make the hill to the left too hot for us, or seeing me out there alone, where I could observe their movements and report them, their nearest battery directed and fired all its guns at me at once, but without hitting me or my horse. I galloped back to my guns, and found that the two guns on our right had left the field, and we were alone again. My order to limber up the second section was understood as applying to the whole battery, so that the drivers had equalized the teams sufficiently to move all the guns and caissons, and the pieces were all limbered. On riding back a short distance, where I could see over the hill again, I discovered the enemy approaching rapidly, and so near that I doubted our ability to save the battery; but, by a very rapid movement up the ravine, we avoided the shells of the three batteries that were now directed at us, sufficient to escape with three guns and all the caissons. The fourth gun, I think, was struck under the axle by an exploding shell, as it broke right in the middle, and dropped the gun in the field. We saved the team. Their advance fired a volley of musketry at us without effect, when we got over the hill out of their reach, and a few moments afterwards heard the infantry engage them from the woods, some distance to the south of us. Seeing no troops where we first crossed the hill amongst whom we could fall in with and prepare for battle again, and having had no communication with or from any human being for, I suppose, three hours, and not knowing where to find our brigade or any part of it, I determined to retire to the next hill, some 400 yards distant, and there form the remnant of my battery, and await the opportunity for further service. Just as we were ascending this second hill we met Gen. T. J. Jackson with the First Virginia brigade, hastening on to the. field of battle. I reported to him my condition and perplexity. He directed me to fall in between two of his regiments and return to the first hill again and fight with him. I did so with a remnant of my men and guns. The caissons, except one, were empty, and many of the men were ready to faint from sheer exhaustion. We got into position 300 or 400 yards north of the ground we at first occupied, within full view of the enemy's heavy column of divisions advancing towards us. We opened fire at once, but slowly, as we had not over four or five men left able to work the guns, respectively, and ammunition had to be brought from a caisson left two hundred yards in the rear, because we were unable to get it up with the guns. Every shot here told with terrible effect, as we could see a lane opened through the enemy after almost every fire. Our first gun was worked, during this part of the action, by the Captain, First Lieutenant, and two privates. In the course of three-quarters of an hour our supply of shot and shells was exhausted — the men could no longer work — we had nothing but some canister left, which was useless at so great a distance. A fresh battery came upon the field, arid Gen. Jackson ordered me to retire with my men and guns to a place of safety, which I did, and had no further part in the fight. We were the first battery of the left wing of the army engaged. We were in the fight till near its close, having been engaged altogether upwards of four hours. We fired about 460 rounds of ball and case-shot, our whole supply, during the action. The only serious damage to my men I have mentioned above. Privates Points and Siders will doubtless get well, but will lose their wounded limbs. Lieut. Garber may save his hand. Several others were slightly touched with fragments of shells, without injury. I had 71 horses on Sunday morning, before the battle commenced; 10 of those are killed and missing, and 21 more variously injured and at present wholly unserviceable, leaving me but 40 horses fit for work. My harness is half destroyed and lost. One piece is dismounted, but will be as good as ever when remounted on a new carriage. All my officers behaved throughout with heroic coolness and bravery, and the conduct of the men was that of veterans. No company in the army was more exposed, and none, I believe, so long a time, and yet no man quailed. There were instances of individual heroism worthy of special notice; but where all did so well, it would seem almost invidious to single out individuals. Respectfully submitted,
J. D. Imboden, Capt. Battery, 3d Brigade, C. S. A.
--Richmond Dispatch, July 26.