I received orders from General Longstreet that the enemy's position was to be attacked, and that with my cavalry I should co-operate with General Anderson. The first brigade which moved into the woods to the right, with the view of attacking the enemy in flank, was Brigadier-General Wilcox's, which continued in action throughout the day. General Wilcox sent me word that he needed additional troops on his right. General Pryor being most convenient, I informed him of the fact, and he, with great promptness, moved with a regiment and a half at once for the ground. General Anderson commanded in person on the scene of conflict; consequently, I frequently found it necessary to take the responsibility of dispatching re-enforcements of artillery, as well as infantry, to points obviously requiring them. Brigadier-General Hill's brigade followed Brigadier-General Wilcox's and then Brigadier-General Pickett's, Wilcox's brigade holding its own until they came up. The tide of battle rolled very perceptibly before these veteran brigades as soon as they were fairly engaged, and my volunteer aide (Captain Farley), who was in the entire fight, speaks in the highest terms of the heroic courage and fighting tact of the Eleventh and Seventeenth Virginia, of Hill's brigade, and also of the Ninth Alabama and Nineteenth Mississippi.
About this time Lieutenant-Colonel Martin (Jeff. Davis Legion), who had been previously dispatched to reconnoiter to the left of Fort Magruder, reported a force of the enemy there, with artillery and infantry, screened by the woods, and we soon received unmistakable evidence by a reverse fire of artillery from that direction upon Fort Magruder and the redoubts to the right. This was evidently premature, and appeared to be an attempt to divert us from our signal success on the right. I kept General Longstreet informed of every stage of the action and my impressions of it. The force on the left could not be ascertained, as it was entirely screened by the woods; but failing to improve an enfilading fire on Fort Magruder and the redoubts to the left, and reverse fire upon those on the right, by a vigorous attack, greatly strengthened by his accidental occupancy of our left redoubt, left vacant by mistake, convinced me that there he was either weak, timid, or feigning, and in neither contingency to be feared. Colonel Jenkins had strong apprehensions that he would be forced to leave his position on account of the signal advantage the enemy had in possessing that redoubt. I, however, sent him Dearing's battery and other artillery I found unemployed and detached the remainder of Pryor's brigade from the right to re-enforce him, and notified him that other re-enforcements were coming rapidly up, and to hold his ground at all hazards a little longer.
At this juncture a rifle piece was directed to fire from near a large tree on the road a direct fire, which evident effect upon the enemy's last position on the right. Affairs were culminating at their crisis, and I sent a messenger to inform General Longstreet that all the troops were now engaged, and that Jenkins was hard pressed on his left, and to say that I deemed his presence necessary on the field. I presume he met this messenger near the scene of action, for he soon after rode up and made the final disposition, which I need not mention, for the accomplishment of a glorious result.
Soon after General Longstreet's arrival Captain Farley, of whom I have already made mention, galloped up on a horse captured at the battery, and announced the enemy routed and in flight. The Stuart Horse Artillery, attached to my brigade, having just arrived upon the field (having been detached for some days at Bigler's Wharf), I ordered it forward under the gallant Pelham, and the cavalry at hand, intending