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 confronted by Magruder with some 10,000 or 15,000 troops, who held the vast horde of Federal troops at bay until the arrival of General Johnston, who rapidly marched from the line of the Rappahannock to reinforce Magruder. After confronting him for several days, our army began its retreat toward Richmond— Hood's Brigade, then belonging to Whiting's Division, covering the retreat to Williamsburg, passing through that town, while the battle of Williamsburg was in progress. The division was moved rapidly to Eltham's Landing, on York River, in order to cover an anticipated movement calculated to intercept the retreat of the army. Here, for the first time in the campaign, the Texas troops engaged the enemy, in a densely wooded country along the York River. The 4th and 5th did but little fighting, but the 1st Texas encountered the enemy in strong force and a severe engagement ensued, in which that regiment drove at least double their number of Federal troops under cover of their gunboats. The entire brigade lost some forty or fifty killed and wounded, while the enemy's loss was at least twice that number. Here it was that Captain Denny, of the 5th, and Lieutenant-Colonel Black, of the 1st, were killed, and Lieutenant-Colonel Rainey, of the 1st, was severely wounded. I mention this battle, not so much on account of its importance as compared with others which ensued, but because it was the first contact the Texas troops as a brigade had with the enemy, and in that engagement it performed its part so well as to receive the encomium of General Gustavus W. Smith, the commanding officer. Hear what he says in his official report: ‘The brunt of the contest was borne by the Texans, and to them is due the largest share of the honors of the day at Eltham.’ And again he says: ‘Had I 40,000 such troops I would undertake a successful invasion of the North.’
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