the reserve he rallied, and maintained his position about twenty minutes, when the whole force fled in confusion to a thicket of woods to the right of Mrs. Jackson's house, carrying with them most of the killed and wounded.
Not knowing where our forces were, and having but few men, I thought it best to fall back about 300 yards so as to command the main road from Big Spring to Leesburg, thinking the enemy might throw a force in that direction, and cut me off; but learning that some of our troops were on my right in the fortifications, I resumed my former position.
I captured 3 wounded prisoners and 14 or 15 stands of arms. I maintained my position in front and about 600 yards from the enemy under a scattering fire from their long-range guns. I had 1 man seriously wounded and 2 slightly wounded in the engagement.
About 10 o'clock a.m. Captain J. W. Welborn, who had command of two companies on my right, sent to me to know if I would support him in an attack on the enemy in his position. I sent him word that I would. He accordingly moved on the enemy from the right. I filed to the left, and under cover of his file charged the enemy, who fled in the utmost confusion to a thicket of woods near the Potomac.
I had one man wounded in this charge-a man who had fallen in with my company in this charge, and who belonged to the Thirteenth Regiment Mississippi Volunteers.
At 12 o'clock m. the Eighth Virginia Regiment came to our support. I was ordered by Colonel Jenifer to occupy the extreme left wing and throw forward 20 skirmishers and advance with my company in the direction of Stuart's Mill. On reaching a point about 100 yards from the river I halted. Two of my skirmishers on my right advanced to the river, came back, and reported that they saw the enemy crossing artillery on to this side the river, some 500 or 600 yards below the mill. Colonel Jenifer ordered me to move in double-quick time to the point indicated and prevent their crossing. When we reached the above point we were unable to see the enemy crossing. I threw forward skirmishers, with the intention of moving lower down to get a better view of the river. This was in a dense thicket on the banks of a deep ravine. One of the skirmishers was halted within ten steps of my line by a man who proved to be an officer in the Tammany regiment of New York. He burst a cap at the skirmisher, but Lieutenant Stephens saw him and shot him down before he could fire.
The fire now became general, but the bushes were so thick that we could but with difficulty see the enemy, notwithstanding they were within 20 yards of us. After we had been engaged some time Captain Ball's company of dismounted cavalry came to our assistance and occupied the left, a short time after which we received an order to join our regiment in the entrenchments. We were engaged in this contest about one-half an hour. Owing to the peculiar position of the ground which we occupied it affording cover for my men while loading, we did not lose a single man. We started in the direction of the entrenchments,and had proceeded, as far as an old field, just back of where the Eighth Virginia Regiment was engaged, when the order to join our regiment was countermanded. I then halted my men, rested, and refreshed them with food and water, the first they had in twenty-eight hours, and held myself in readiness to go to the support of the Virginians if necessary. At dark I was ordered to my former position at Big Spring.
The officers and men under my command all acted nobly, gallantly driving back more than ten miles their number; ever ready to move in