At this point I found Major Gaillard, commanding, reforming the Second Regiment. With this regiment I retired to the next road in our rear, where I again halted, supposing that the other regiments would be found there, but owing to the intricacies of the wood and the approaching darkness the commanding officers conducted their regiments severally to the field whence we entered the fight.
While collecting on the flag of the Second Regiment all the men of the brigade who came by, General Ewell rode up and desired me to advance my command to support a brigade he was about to lead into action in Crew's field. Calling attention to the small number of men with me and my desire to collect the remainder of the inefficiency of any support I could render, but as he became very urgent I yielded, and led the Second Regiment, under command of Major Gaillard, to the point indicated. Soon General Ewell's forces appeared, and he led two regiments in beautiful order to the attack under a terrible fire of artillery and infantry. While we were at this point, Sergeant Harley, color-bearer of the Second Regiment, exposed himself with gallantry worthy of especial mention in his efforts to encourage and animate the men around him, and was wounded by a shell while thus engaged.
Several regiments having arrived and taken position in our rear in support of General Ewell's advance, and the infantry fire having materially diminished, I brought off the Second Regiment about 9 p.m., and reformed the brigade in the field from which we had advanced.
It gives great pleasure to commend the conduct of officers and men for coolness and firmness under many trying circumstances on this occasion, and have nothing to regret but that we were by a series of accidents prevented from accomplishing as much for the country on this occasion by the gallantry and discipline exhibited by the troops as we could desire, though the losses of the command attest that it was no fault of theirs.
I must not omit to mention that the conduct during these engagements and operations of my personal staff was such ass to entitle them to particular commendation. Captain C. R. Holmes, assistant adjutant-general, Lieutenant A. E. Doby, aide-de-camp, and Lieutenant W. M. Dwight, acting assistant inspector-general, in both engagements, and Mr. John A. Myers, acting as aide on Sunday, were assiduous active, and efficient in the discharge of their carried duties on the field, and distinguished themselves by high exhibitions of courage and self-possession amid the greatest dangers.
I again refer to the accompanying reports of commanders for further particulars.
The particulars of our losses are herewith forwarded.
I have the honor to be, captain, your obedient servant,
J. B. KERSHAW,