From another correspondent.
Yorktown, June 11, 1861
About half-past 3 o'clock yesterday morning we were called to arms, a rumor having reached us that the enemy were advancing All obeyed the summons promptly.
We were sent immediately over to the battery in front of the quarters of the North Carolinians, where we remained but one hour, and then started for a trench about a quarter of a mile distant, which was commenced by our men the day before, (Sunday.) On arriving there, we went immediately to work throwing up breastworks, and so continued until the enemy were in a quarter of a mile of us, when we were ordered to our arms:
After remaining in this trench a short time, I heard the crack of a rifle, which Lt. Col. Stuart
told us was the beginning.
The Howitzers--one company — immediately opened upon them with telling effect.
The fire was sharply returned by them, and continued on both sides for an hour without intermission.
The enemy returned the fire of the Howitzers with heavy artillery, and their infantry at tempted to pick our Howitzers off. Musket and rifle balls were making beautiful music around our heads during all this time — many of them falling in the trench we were in; also, cannon balls, bombs, grape shot, and every description of shot and shell; none of which, however, had the least effect.
Our men were perfectly cool and were smiling countenances.
The battle commenced about 9 o'clock in the morning, and was kept up until 1 o'clock without ceasing.
We (the Young Guard, Life Guard, and Henrico Southern Guard,) occupied the first treach — the most dangerous position on the ground being exposed to the fire of the riflemen, infantry and artillery.
When first attacked we could not fire without shooting the Life Guard
, while we were exposed to one fire of the enemy in our rear and another on our left; which, however, was out of the range of our guns, if we had had an opportunity of returning it. Obeying the orders of the Colonel
in command, (Stuart
,) we kept ourselves low in the trench, thereby letting the balls of the enemy most of which were rifle and well directed) pass just enough over our heads to miss us, without getting a fire ourselves.
After remaining in the trench an hour, the Colonel
told us to retreat and rally in another ditch behind the Church
— about a quarter of a mile distant — which was then occupied by the North Carolinians.
This we did, being fired upon all the time by the enemy.
After escaping unharmed the rice of the enemy, we came near losing our lives by the fire of our friends.
When about fifty yards from the entrenchment we were to occupy, the North Carolinians who were there levelled their guns at us and took aim, mistaking us for the enemy, and would have killed most of us but for our having cried out ‘"friends,"’ and the white badge we wore on our hats; while the enemy wore theirs on the arm.
[The letter here gives an account of our loss in killed and wounded, which we have already published]
After the battle I took a walk over the field.
I counted six corpses — examined them closely their wounds, &c. Among the number were one or two Zouaves.
We have also two wounded Zouaves.
We cannot tell how many of the enemy are killed, as they conveyed them away; but a horseman, who helped drive them into Hampton
after we were done with them, informed us last night that they had four wagon loads of dead, which I am inclined to believe.
Had we not had God on our side, we must have been whipped.