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[104] constant and terrific, yet never being for a moment doubtful, as the repeated shouts of our men plainly told.

Opposed to vastly superior numbers reinforced by much artillery, the captured earthwork became too hot to hold, and the Fourth North-Carolina and other regiments in support fell back in good order, waiting new dispositions and additional force. These were at hand, and the fight opened in front with terrific violence. Latham's and Carter's few pieces opened upon them, and belched forth grape and canister, scattering death in every direction, ploughing up the ground and cutting down the timber like so many twigs; so with banners flying and loud shouts along the line, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Virginia, Louisiana, South and North-Carolina regiments advanced to the charge, and drove the invaders like sheep before them, not stopping to breathe until three miles beyond the enemy's camps. In full possession of Barker's farm, and all the enemy's works, camps, stores, guns, etc., etc., it was thought the fight was over, (now about six P. M.;) but attempting to flank us on the left, and regain all they had lost, the enemy made a final and desperate effort to force the position held by Gen. Hatton and the Tennessee brigade.

Advancing through the woods, and on a road running parallel with and equidistant to the York River Railroad and the Williamsburgh road, they opened with artillery in much force, their retreat and rear being protected by several earthworks, as at Barker's farm. Several pieces of our artillery being in support, vigorously replied to the enemy, and the loud, wild shouts of Hatton's brigade told plainly that the fight had opened. Indeed these troops had been howling and shouting in the woods all day while the fight was going on to their right, but now that the order to advance was given by Gen. Whiting, the noise and shouting were unearthly. But soon the enemy were found, and quickly volley after volley resounded through the timber, and shout after shout. Though near dark, still Hatton advanced, long sheets of flame being visible from the rifles of his trusty and gallant men, which for an instant seemed to light up the scene. Regiments upon regiments of the enemy were thrown against this brigade and their supports; but brave Hatton led on the advance, and drove everything before them.

Falling back discomfited, and with very heavy loss, the enemy retired to their field-works and fortifications; but even these did not deter the Tennesseeans, for shouting and firing, they waded up to the middle in water, assailed the fortifications under a fearful fire of rifles and artillery, but took the work at the bayonet's point, captured the guns, and butchered the enemy without mercy, driving them towards the Chickahominy, as had been done by others an hour before on the right.

Penetrating the woods, and finding no enemy near, Hatton's men held the ground for several hours, and carried off innumerable spoils, guns, <*>rms, stores, clothing, etc., as was the case at Barker's farm — the enemy being abundantly supplied as usual with everything money could buy. Gen. Hatton was killed and Gen. Pettigrew also, in charging on the left. Gen. Joe Johnston is slightly wounded by a fragment of a shell, but is doing well. But the list of officers is very long, and for the most part wounded. Our loss on Saturday was probably fifteen hundred killed and wounded; that of the enemy I know was three thousand or more, for I was in the fight, on foot, from beginning to end, and afterwards over all the ground at different times.

On Sunday morning early, the enemy made a bold endeavor to retake the lost ground, and assailed Pryor's brigade down the Williamsburgh road, and Mahone's on the York River Railroad. The fighting was severe for more than an hour, but our men were withdrawn, as we did not desire to conquer any more ground in that direction, so fell back about a mile. We are sorry to say that Col. Lomax, Third Alabama, a very promising and much-beloved officer, lost his life on the left, (Mahone's ;) but his men deeply avenged his fall, and many a score of Yankees had to pay tribute to their vengeance.

In brief, we captured twenty-five pieces, fifteen hundred stand of arms, some stands of colors, the camps, the equipments, etc., of three brigades, six hundred prisoners, killed Gen. Casey and two others, besides strewing the ground for miles with killed and wounded.

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Robert Hatton (6)
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