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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 12, Part 2 (Second Manassas)
Page 652 OPERATION IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

and went into action, firing upon the columns of the enemy advancing along the Warrenton and Centreville road. The head of this column had already reached, if not passed, Groveton, and wheeling off then to its left formed line of battle perpendicular to the pike and facing to the rear of their still marching column. This line then moving down, these two batteries were withdrawn, one by order of General Jackson and the other by order of Brigadier-General Taliaferro. The other batteries did not get up in time to participate in the action before it became an engagement of infantry just near the edge of the woods, under which circumstances it was not possible to get the guns in position before dark.

Early on Friday, the 29th, the enemy renewed the attack over nearly the same ground, while our troops occupied pretty generally the same position. Their infantry being repulsed by ours, artillery was thrown out in front of our right to complete it. The batteries of Captains Poague, Carpenter, Dement, Brockenbrough, and Latimer, under Major Shumaker, were so engaged, facing obliquely toward groveton, while the battery of Captain Braxton was placed farther to your right, bearing on the road from Groveton to Warrenton, in case the enemy should advance from that direction rather in rear of the other batteries. This did not, however, happen, and so Captain Braxton's battery was not engaged then. The other batteries did not all come into action at once. The enemy endeavored to cover his repulse by batteries thrown into position to play on the first of ours that opened on his retiring infantry. These were answered by fresh batteries of ours, and thus began a very fierce artillery duel, which lasted till about 10 a. m., our batteries being gradually withdrawn and the enemy moving around more to our left to select another point of attack. His next effort, later in the day, was directed against Brigadier-General Gregg's brigade, which forming the right of Major General A. P. Hill's division, joined the Second Virginia Brigade, which formed the left of Jackson's division. This being in the woods, no artillery was placed there; but as the enemy was repulsed a section of Captain Pegram's battery was brought up and fired a few shots.

The enemy's next attack was still farther to the left. At this time General A. P. Hill's brigades were posted from right to left in this order: Gregg's, Field's, Thomas', Branch's, Pender's, and Archer's. On the left of the line was Captain Braxton's battery of six guns, to the right of General Archer's brigade was Captain Crenshaw's battery of four guns, and to its right, to the left and rear of General Branch's brigade, was Captain [Alex. C.] Latham's [N. C.] battery of four guns, commanded by Lieutenant [John R.] Potts. About 2 p. m. the enemy made an assault upon the front of Generals Thomas, Branch, and Field, which of course (as was the case with his former and subsequent attacks), was preceded and accompanied by a heavy shelling of the adjacent woods. He also brought up two rifle guns on his right, which opened on the position occupied by General Branch's brigade in a clump of woods, while his infantry attempted to charge across the field in front. Their guns were speedily driven off by Captain Braxton's battery, which was moved still farther to our left for the purpose, and their infantry was easily repelled. In a short time the attack was renewed over the same ground and in the same way. By this time the batteries of Captains Crenshaw and Latham had been moved out so as to get an oblique fire on their infantry, and also to bear on the battery on their right. The latter was quickly forced to retire by the fire of the batteries of Captains Braxton and Crenshaw, while the latter, with that of Captain Latham, poured a


Page 652 OPERATION IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 12, Part 2 (Second Manassas)
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