the mountain from the left flank, having made a circuit through the woods.
Our brave little band of heroes under Captain De Langnel met the enemy with great resolution and repulsed him twice, but were finally overpowered by overwhelming numbers and compelled to retreat, having lost in killed and wounded in the three hors' fight about one-third of their whole force. After the brave Captain De Lagnel had been shot down, while, with the assistance of a boy-all the rest of the [men] at the guns having been killed or wounded-he was loading and firing his pieces, the gallant Captain Curry, of the Rockbridge Guards, assumed the command of the few remaining men and conducted the retreat in as good order as possible, being under the concentrated fire of four regiments, which made a perfect hail of leaden missiles.
The enemy, having charged and taken our piece of artillery, were bayoneting our wounded soldiers, who had been shot at their posts. As soon as Colonel Pegram learned that we had been driven from our position at Hart's hose and lost our piece of artillery, he determined to take about half of the command and charge and retake the lost position, and immediately organized them and marched from our camp, leaving me in command, with instructions to hold that position at all hazards.
In the mean time the enemy was busy making preparations for an attack in front, cutting roads and placing a large number of pieces of artillery in position. Our force had been so weakened by the heavy detail made by Colonel Pegram that we could do nothing but strengthen our position and await the attack of the enemy.
About 11 o'clock at night, having heard nothing from Colonel Pegram, his adjutant and other officers insisted on a council of war being called. I called a few officers together and repeated to them my orders from Colonel Pegram, instructing me to hold the position until i heard from him, which might not be before morning, as he had not then determined whether he would attack General Rosecrans that night or in the morning.
We were about returning to our several posts, as we were expecting an attack every moment, when Colonel Pegram returned and informed us he had determined not to make the attack at Hart's house, and had sent the men he had selected for that purpose away under the command of Major Nat. Tyler, and he ordered me to call in all the companies and pickets and retreat with them immediately in the direction of General Garnett's camp, at Laurel Hill. I preceded without delay to execute the order; had the remaining pieces of artillery spiked; the men formed single file; a pass-word by which they might recognize each other in the dark was given them, and they were marching out of the camp when Colonel Pegram came up, owing to his weak condition, having been thrown from his horse during the day. His orderly, in halting the command until the colonel could get in front, failed to reach the head of the column, and forty or fifty men, under the command of Captain Lilley (guided by Major Stewart and Professor Hotchkiss), did not receive the orders to halt, and marched for some time, thinking they were followed by the rest of the command. On discovering that they had got separated from us, they changed their course, marched through Beverly and escaped.
Soon after leaving Camp Garnett this little force passed between two regiments of the enemy, as we afterwards learned, and escaped being fired upon by replying by chance with the signal adopted by the enemy. The night being very dark and route being over precipitous mount-
17 R R-VOL II