received an order from your to return with the command. I immediately faced Captain Parks' company about, and was returning with the four companies, when I was met by Colonel Avery and Major Lewis with the remaining five companies, which composed the left wing, coming up in line of battle and in fire order, and was ordered by Colonel Avery to face about and join him. I did so, and the regiment moved up to the scene of action in fine style, Colonel Avery in command of the center, I of the right wing, and Major Lewis of the left.
Colonel Avery gave the command to fire before we reached the intrenchments, as the enemy were firing upon us an were i full force upon the top of the hill immediately across the swamp. Our fire seemed to have great effect, as the enemy scampered. Major Lewis then moved immediately to the right of the railroad with several companies and engaged the enemy from that time until after 12 o'clock. He behaved most gallantly; was in the hottest part of the whole battle-field. He repulsed the enemy time and again, and twice charged them with detachments of companies, and each time made them flee.
Our loss was greater at that point than any other, as he had to fight to his front, right, and left, but still maintained his position, fighting them against greater numbers. No one could have behaved with more coolness, bravery, and determination than he, and he deserves the praise of every true countryman for his actions. He reports his men as having done their duty in every manner.
Colonel Avery was in command of the center, on top of the second hill from the railroad, encouraging his men both by actions and words. He was perfectly cool, and never did man act better upon the battle-field than he. His fire was very destructive, and remarked that if he had his regiment together he would charge the rascals over the fallen timber. He received a shot through the top of his cap, and coolly remarked, "Boys, they liked to have gotten me," but heeded it not, and went on cheering his men.
I was immediately at his right, and finding the enemy were getting in strong force upon our right and were going to turn our right flank, as there were no troops between our regiment and the left of Colonel Vance's companies upon the right flank of the whole troops, a distance of a quarter of a mile, I moved quickly with Captain Parks' company, which I had thrown in the woods in a ravine as a reserve to our regiment, with Lieutenant Poteat adjutant, who displayed great coolness during the action, and finding the enemy in great force did not expose my weakness by firing, but sent a messenger to Colonel Avery for another company. He immediately sent me Captain Kesler's company. I ordered the whole to fire, which did great execution, as the enemy fell and fled, but soon appeared again, and again we drove them back, but soon they again appeared in strong force and engaged us, which continued until 12.30 o'clock. At 12.15 o'clock I saw the United States flag flying upon one of our works, but saw Colonel Avery still fighting, and I, being very busily engaged with the enemy, did not know that Colonel Avery and Major Lewis had fallen back until I saw the enemy upon my left with several regiments (which force caused Colonel Avery and Major Lewis to fall back, as their left was completely turned and the enemy was getting to their rear), and about 50 yards to the rear of the position Colonel Avery had occupied. I then saw for the first time we were driven back, and ordered the men under my command to fall back, but to do so in order. We were hotly fired at when we fell back. I fell back some distance and intended to fall back, so kept