order named, by the flank in rear of Wise's brigade. Upon entering the skirts of the woods, south of the forks of the Boydton plank road and the Quaker road, Wise's brigade came under the fire of the enemy's skirmishers and charged forward until they encountered and drove back a short distance a line of battle posted with artillery. The engagement was commenced at 3.20 p.m. In a few moments a portion of Wise's brigade, on the Quaker road, was driven back from the woods to the open ground, and, by direction of Lieutenant-General Anderson, who had arrived on the ground about the time of the charge of Wise's brigade, still contesting the ground with the enemy. Finding that the left of Wise's brigade had encountered a battery, which they had well nigh captured, and were very hardly pressed, I directed Brigadier-General Moody to move his brigade up on the left of Wise's and Wallace's, but before this movement could be carried out, Wallace's brigade, with Wise's [save Colonel Goode's [Thirty-fourth] regiment, which had moved to the Boydton road to operate with the cavalry on the enemy's left], was repulsed by a heavy fire from the left. Lieutenant-General Anderson now directed my division to be withdrawn, at about 5 p.m., and to take position across the Boydton plank road in the margin of the woods north and east of the Bevill house. In this position we remained until dusk, when, by direction of General Anderson, pickets were left in front and the division retired into the breast-works adjacent to Burgess' Mill and west of Hatcher's Run. Our losses were about 250 men, mainly from Wise's and Wallace's brigades. Captain Harvey E. Jones, assistant adjutant-general, Gracie's brigade was -
On the afternoon of Wednesday [Thursday], the 29th [30th] of March, Ransom's and Wallace's brigades were detached and moved, with three brigades of General Pickett's division, on the White Oak road to Five Forks.
On the morning of Thursday, the 30th of March, Brigadier-General Hunton, of Pickett's division, reported to me with his brigade for duty with my command. In the evening of this day the enemy's skirmishers made their appearance in the open field east of Halter Butler's house and south of the works occupied by our troops. By instruction of General Lee, I believe it was, I threw Colonel Stansel's regiment, of Moody's brigade, out of the works on the White Oak road, and established a line of skirmishers south of the road, fronting those of the enemy. I was advised that it would not be desirable to make a vigorous attack at that point at that time, as it might be better not to draw attention to it then, but to attack the enemy there at a later period, if it proved to be the left flank of his infantry.
At about 11 a.m. on the 31st of March, finding the enemy in two lines in the field west of Halter Butler's house, I at once ordered out Hunton's brigade, and notified Lieutenant-General Anderson and Major-General Heth that I would make an attack as soon as I could form my line of battle. While forming this line, Brigadier-General McGowan, of Wilcox's division, reported to me with his brigade. My line was formed with McGowan's brigade on the right, Moody's brigade, commanded by Colonel Stansel, of the Forty-first Alabama Regiment, in the center, and Hunton's brigade on the left. Having ascertained that an admirable movement might be made on the enemy's left flank, I had ordered McGowan's brigade to move behind a woods for that purpose; but this movement had only commenced when I discovered