H. Hill, then without a command, and Brigadier-General Roger A. Pryor was serving with him as a mounted scout.
As some of General Whiting's staff officers were left in Wilmington, and General Martin had a full staff, he directed me to offer my services to General Whiting, and I rode with him part of the day when his unfortunate failure occurred.
Butler's army having seized the main road between Richmond and Petersburg, General Beauregard sent a staff officer by a long detour through Chesterfield county to ride with a battle order to Whiting.
I saw General Whiting have the order, and heard him read it. It plainly ordered him to advance from his position, which was then across Swift Creek, on the morning of May 17th, and move rapidly forward in the direction of the heaviest firing—along the Petersburg and Richmond road and towards Port Walthall Junction—the point where a road crosses the former, and leads to James river.
Had this junction been seized, Butler's army would have been c