fallen an easy prey to him, and I saw at once that my only way to save them was to make a vigorous attack upon his rear and left flank and to compel him to desist from such a purpose.
I sent back for the infantry to hurry forward, and sent Captain Pitzer with his detachment of cavalry to gain the roads towards Leesburg, give notice to our wagons to return at once to camp, and keep between them and the enemy, threatening his front and flank; and I will state here, parenthetically, that this duty was performed by Captain Pitzer and his gallant little detachment in the most creditable manner; all our wagons reaching camp safely.
In the mean time the enemy's skirmishers took possession of the dense pine in our front, and as our infantry was met by my messenger three-fourths of a mile back, it was some time coming up. Colonel Garland's regiment, leading, was directed to deploy two companies on each side of the road to clear the ground of the enemy's skirmishers. One of these companies, having mistaken its direction, went too far to the right, and Colonel Garland had to replace it with another. The pines were cleared at double-quick, and the battery was ordered in position at [B], and fired very effectively during the whole of the engagement to the front.
The infantry were placed in position as follows: Garland's regiment on the right of the road, a little in advance of the artillery; Secrets's [South Carolina] on the left of the road. Forney's regiment, arriving later, replaced Garland's, which moved by the flank to the right, and the First Kentucky, Colonel Taylor, at first intended as a reserve, was ordered to take position on the left of the Sixth South Carolina.
As our infantry was well secured from the enemy's view, their artillery fire, which opened about fifteen minutes after ours began, had little effect upon the infantry, but played with telling effect along the road, as from its position [C] and the straightness of the road in our rear it raked the latter with shell and round shot completely. Their caissons and limbers were behind in a brick house completely protected from our shot, while our limbers and caissons were necessarily crowded and exposed. There was no outlet to right or left for a mile back by which the artillery could change its position. When our forces took their position the fire of the artillery caused great commotion in the enemy's lines and a part evidently took to their heels.
The right wing was ordered forward, and the Tenth Alabama rushed with a shout in a shower of bullets, under the gallant lead of their colonel [Forney] and Lieutenant-Colonel Martin, the latter falling in the charge. A part of this regiment crossed the road and took position along a fence, from which the enemy felt the trueness of their aim at short range. The colonel was here severely wounded and had to retire. In his absence the command devolved upon Major Woodward.
The Eleventh Virginia, holding position on the right of the Tenth Alabama, were not so much exposed to the fire of the enemy, and consequently suffered less. The Sixth South Carolina gradually gained ground also to the front, and being, together with the Tenth Alabama, exposed to the fire of the enemy's sharpshooters from a two story brick house, suffered most.
My orders to Colonel Taylor, First Kentucky, were given through Colonel Forney, and I soon knew by the commotion on my left that it was in place. The thicket where the Sixth South Carolina and First Kentucky operated was so dense that it was impossible to see either [their] exact position or their progress in the fight, and I regret to say that the First Kentucky and the Sixth South Carolina mistook each