brigade to take cover behind the remains of an old fence near the brow of the hill and a few paces in rear of battery, the right wing of the Twenty-fifth Louisiana extending to the right of the battery. In this position we could occasionally pick off a sharpshooters as he would uncover himself in the woods, but it was too exposed to justify its occupation for any length of time. Many of my men were being wounded and several killed. I requested the battery to cease firing, that I might charge the wood.
In the mean time the Thirty-sixth Mississippi, Colonel Brown, had regained its position in line, but many of its members were now straggling to the rear from under the sharp fire of the enemy's skirmishers. I endeavored, with some success, to rally them, and immediately ordered a charge. It was gallantly responded to by the Twenty-fifth Louisiana and the Florida Battalion, as also by a larger portion of the Thirty-sixth Mississippi. The wood was gained without any difficulty and the enemy was pushed rapidly through an open field beyond.
In this charge he has several killed, and we took 8 prisoners (3 wounded) and a quantity of knapsacks, blankets, &c.; also a few stands of arms. His surprise and hasty flight was evidenced by the manner in which these things were scattered through the woods and half-cooked breakfasts that lay around. Hogs and mutton, just butchered and not yet dressed, could be seen in many places.
As we reached the open field beyond the woods our pursuit was checked by the opening of Robertson's battery on our left, which swept the field the full length of our front, dealing death and dismay in the ranks of the enemy's cavalry, a squadron of which had the temerity to attempt a charge upon our line. At one time they were in easy range of our infantry, which might have added to the number of empty saddles but for an impression that got abroad along the line that it was our own cavalry, which impression was confirmed by an order coming from the right not to fire upon them. Being engaged personally at the time in bringing into line the Thirty-sixth Mississippi, I did not hear the order, and only learned of it when I had inquired why my command had ceased or failed to fire. By this time the column had fled beyond range. I pressed forward through the open field in front and charged into the wood beyond. I had not advanced far, however, when a citizen approached me and said it was impossible for the brigade to get through a morass immediately in front; that he had informed General Ruggles of the fact, and that he (General Ruggles) had sent him to me with the information. As I had seen General Ruggles on the field the moment before entering the wood, I concluded to speak with him on the subject, not, however, until a couple of staff officers had gone forward to reconnoiter the morass. I found General Ruggles near by in the open field, and he confirmed what the citizen had told me, and directed me to hold the brigade in the wood where it was until the result of a reconnaissance then being made could be ascertained, when he would give me further orders. After remaining in that position some half hour he ordered me to withdraw into the open field near where he then was, which being accomplished, he directed me to march back to a point a short distance in the rear of Farmington, halt, and communicate with him through a staff officer.
In the mean time I directed Lieutenant-Colonel Clack to detail an officer and two men to repair to a gin-house near by, in which was stored unginned cotton, as also several bales already packed; to take an estimate of the quantity, quality, and value of the same, together with machinery, &c., and to burn and destroy the same, reporting in