eHistory logo Primary Sources Section
Primary Sources Home | Search eHistory

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

You are currently in Volume XXI | Pages range from 1 to 1152

Go to Page (current volume):  
Index | Previous | Next
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 21, Part 1 (Fredericksburg)
Page 646 OPERATIONS IN N.VA.,W.VA.,MD.,AND PA. Chapter XXXIII.

and being unable to elicit any discoveries from this sharp practice, continued for an hour or more, the advance was again sounded, and, preceded by clouds of skirmishers, they right gallantly essayed another attempt. To cover this advance this advance their batteries were now served with redoubled activity; and now, the mass of infantry being within point-blank range, the roar was deepened and made deadly to the enemy as shell and canister from our long-silent but now madly aroused batteries plowed through their ranks. The enemy, however, continued to advance, and the three batteries already mentioned as having been posted in advance of the railroad were compelled to retire, their withdrawal being covered by Lieutenant-Colonel [J. L.] Hill with the Seventh North Carolina. Lane's brigade was the first to encounter the masses of the enemy, who, recoiling somewhat from his direct front, shifted their main attack to his right, endeavoring to penetrate through the interval between Archer and himself. The attack directly in front of Archer and of Walker's guns had been gallantly repulsed, the enemy finding what shelter they could along the railroad. Concentrating their columns of attack, the enemy now made a bold effort, and pushing onward turned Lane's right, although obstinately resisted by the Twenty-eighth and Thirty-seventh North Carolina Regiments. Colonel [W. M.] Barbour, of the Thirty-seventh, finding his right turned, changed front with his three right companies and poured in a destructive fire. These two regiments continued to fight until their ammunition was exhausted, and were then quietly and steadily retired from the field, refilling their boxes and rejoining their brigade. The three remaining regiments of Lane's brigade [Seventh, Eighteenth, and Thirty-third North Carolina] steadily continued to battle against overwhelming numbers, and the attack was checked by well-directed volleys from the Thirty-third Regiment, Colonel [Clark M.] Avery. General Thomas, responding to the call of General Lane, rapidly threw forward his brigade of Georgians by the flank, and, deploying by successive formations, squarely met the enemy, charged them, and, joined by the Seventh and part of the Eighteenth North Carolina, drove them back, with tremendous loss, to their original position.

In the mean time the main column of attack had wedged in to the right and rear of Lane, encountered Archer's left, and, attacked in flank and rear, the Fourteenth Tennessee and Nineteenth Georgia were compelled to give back. General Archer, observing the threatening condition of affairs on his left, very promptly detached the Fifth Alabama Battalion, holding his line with the brave Fist Tennessee, under the gallant Turney; and this movement, rapidly executed and assisted by two regiments of Brockenbrough's [the Forty-seventh Virginia and Twenty-second Virginia Battalion], was attended with signal success.

The advancing columns of the enemy had also encountered an obstacle in the military road with they little expected. Gregg's brigade of South Carolinians stood in the way. Taken somewhat by surprise, Orr's Rifles was thrown into confusion, mistaking the advancing enemy for our own troops falling back. It was at this moment that Brigadier General Maxcy Gregg, himself fearful of harming our friends, fell in front of the Rifles, mortally wounded. A more chivalrous gentleman and gallant soldier never adorned the service which he so loved. One company of the Rifles, Lieutenant [J. D.] Charles, and the four remaining regiments [the First, Twelfth, Thirteenth, and Fourteenth] stood firm as on parade. Colonel [D. H.] Hamilton, now in command of the brigade, threw back the right wing of his regiment and opened a destructive fire. The Twelfth faced about, and the Thirteenth and Fourteenth, under the direction of


Page 646 OPERATIONS IN N.VA.,W.VA.,MD.,AND PA. Chapter XXXIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 21, Part 1 (Fredericksburg)
Index | Previous | Next
This symbol external link icon indicates an external link
All images and content are the property of eHistory at The Ohio State University unless otherwise stated.
Copyright © 2014 OSU Department of History. All rights reserved. [citation and copyright information]
eHistory icon