Before I had arrived on the ground the enemy had opened a rapid fire from a battery placed to the left of the York road several hundred yards before it joins the Warwick road from Grove Wharf.
Meeting the commander-in-chief, he directed me to turn back another brigade to the support of the First, and accordingly General Kershaw was directed to return with his command, the Second, Third, Seventh, and Eighth South Carolina. I also turned back Captain Manly's battery and sent for another.
Arriving on the ground, I ordered the occupation of the redoubts to the right, and placed a gun in each. This was done because I was unaware how far the enemy had succeeded in taking positions in front, and because, from my previous knowledge of the ground, I was aware that the right-hand redoubts commanded those below, including the main work, known as Fort Magruder. The redoubt commanding the road from King's Mill Wharf and other right-hand roads from Grove Wharf, placed near a point called Tutten's Neek, was also occupied.
The right flank and the non-commanding positions being occupied, I directed General Kershaw, with a portion of his command, to take position in the woods to the left of Fort Magruder with one regiment and five companies, and then ordered forward Captain Manly, with two pieces, to occupy Fort Magruder. Supporting his advance with the Fifth Louisiana (Colonel Hunt, of Semmes' brigade), the artillery went forward at full speed, led by Captain Read, my chief of artillery, followed by its support, and gained the works without opposition. I then galloped forward to the main work, our artillery responding rapidly and effectually to that of the enemy.
On arriving I saw a considerable body of cavalry immediately on our left and front of a redoubt, placed to command a road leading across the head of Saunders' Pond. At first they were supposed to be our own men, so close were they and so confident in their advance; but the mistake was soon discovered and our guns opened on them with shell. Our cavalry coming up, I directed Colonel Davis, commanding, to charge that of the enemy, which he did in gallant style, driving them back with but little loss to us. General Kershaw was then directed to advance from the line of woods and occupy the work in his front, which was promptly done. I then withdrew the Tenth Louisiana (Colonel Marigny) and sent it to occupy the extreme left redoubt, commanding the dam over Saunders' Pond.
My whole front, right, and left being now secured, I withdrew the Tenth Georgia from the main work and the Fifteenth Virginia from the next redoubt on the right, and directed them to deploy, the Tenth Georgia (Colonel A. Cumming) leading along the York road, and ordered the cavalry to charge the enemy in that direction. For special reasons the charge was not made, and, the infantry going forward, the enemy retired down the York road, leaving one 6-pounder rifle gun and three caissons on the ground occupied by their battery.
Captain McCarthy, whose battery arrived a few minutes previous to this, sent forward horses from his pieces, and the gun and caissons of the enemy were brought to the main work.
To Captain Manly's battery, however, is due the credit of killing three horses attached to the caissons and pieces, and by the rapidity of his fire preventing the enemy from carrying them off.
The enemy made no further demonstrations against us, and by direction of the commanding general my command was relieved during the night by General Anderson's, and at once took up their line of march to the rear.