the river, and then retreat behind the Twenty-third Virginia Regiment, which was ordered to take position and defend the train until the Georgia troops had formed again in some defensible position.
By the time the Georgians had crossed the river, and before some of the companies of that regiment who were thrown out to ambuscade the enemy could be brought over, the enemy appeared in sight of our troops, and immediately commenced firing upon them. This was briskly returned by the Georgia regiment, who after some rounds retired, in obedience to the orders received. The Twenty-third Virginia retired, in obedience to the orders received. The Twenty-third Virginia and the artillery were halted about three-quarters of a mile below the crossing, and were ordered to occupy a hill commanding the valley through which the enemy would have to approach an a wood which commanded the road. This position they held until the Georgia regiment was formed some distance in advance; then the former command retired and again reformed in advance of the Georgians. This system of retiring upon eligible positions of defense admirably selected by Captain Corley, adjutant-general to General Garnett, was pursued without loss on either side, a few random shots only reaching us, until we reached Carrick's Ford, three and a half miles from Kaler's. This is a deep ford, rendered deeper than usual by the rains, and here some of the wagons became stalled in the river and had to be abandoned.
The enemy were now close upon the rear, which consisted of the Twenty-third Regiment and the artillery; and as soon as this command had crossed Captain Corley ordered me to occupy the high bank on the right of the ford with my regiment and the artillery. On the right this position was protected by a fence, on the left only by low bushes, but the hill commanded the ford and the approach to it by the road, and was admirably selected for defense. In a few minutes the skirmishers of the enemy were seen running along the opposite bank, which was low and skirted by a few trees, and were at first taken for the Georgians, who were known to have been cut off; but we were soon undeceived, and a hearty cheer of President Davis having been given by Lieutenant Washington, C. S. Army, reiterated with a simultaneous shout by the whole command, we opened upon the enemy. The enemy replied to us with a heavy fire from their infantry and artillery. We could discover that a large force was brought up to attack us, but our continued and well-directed fire kept them from crossing the river, and twice we succeeded in driving them back some distance from the ford. They again, however, came up with a heavy force and renewed the fight. The fire of their artillery was entirely ineffective, although their shot and shell were thrown very rapidly; but they all flew over our heads without any damage, except bringing the limbs of trees down upon us. The working of our three guns under Lieutenants Lanier, Washington, and Brown was admirable, and the effect upon the enemy very destructive. We could witness the telling effect of almost every shot.
After continuing the fight until early every cartridge had been expended, and until the artillery had been withdrawn by General Garnett's orders, and as no part of his command was within sight our supporting distance, as far as I could discover, nor, as I afterwards ascertained, within four miles of me, I ordered the regiment to retire. I was induced, moreover, to do this, as I believed the enemy were making and effort to turn our flank, and without support it would have been impossible to have held the position, and as already nearly thirty of my men had been killed and wounded. The dead and severely wounded we had to leave upon the field, but retired in perfect order, the officers and men manifesting decided reluctance at being withdrawn. After march-