p.m., in which the enemy were repulsed with a loss of a few prisoners, some killed, and wounded. The brigade continued its march through and beyond Williamsburg for about one mile and bivouacked at 5.30 p.m.
[At] 7 a.m. on the 5th instant the brigade was counter-marched through the town by order of the division commander, with instructions to report to Brigadier General R. H. Anderson, on the line of redoubts near, and could be called upon for support should it be found necessary. On approaching the line of redoubts the brigade came within range of the enemy's artillery, engaged at the time with the artillery in the second redoubt from the right and about 1,200 yards in front. The enemy had shown themselves early in the morning of the 5th in front of the line of redoubts.
Having reported to General Anderson through one of my staff, orders were received to occupy with my brigade a dense and heavy pine forest to the right of an hold field, in which was the enemy's battery, then returning the fire from the redoubts, this forest extending toward and to the James River, on which the enemy's left was supposed to rest. An open field intervened between the line of redoubts and this forest. One of my regiments (the Nineteenth Mississippi, Colonel C. H. Mott) was moved forward promptly toward this wood, following a ravine which would both screen it from the enemy's view and protect it from the fire of his artillery. The Ninth and Tenth Alabama [Regiments], Colonels [Samuel] Henry and [J. J.] Woodward, followed in rear some 300 yards. As the Nineteenth Mississippi approached the woods a company of skirmishers deployed to the front, entered it, and without encountering the enemy Colonel Mott halted his regiment after advancing a short distance into the woods. The other regiments were halted in the open field in rear. Colonel Mott was soon directed to move forward his skirmish line, feeling for the enemy. In a few minutes several shots were heard-a slight skirmish ensued, in which three of the enemy were captured; one belonging to the Seventy-second New York, one to the Sixth [New] Jersey, and the other to Second New Jersey.
The Nineteenth Mississippi was ordered forward into the woods, which were so dense that a colonel could not see his entire regiment when in line of battle. After moving forward a sort distance the regiment was halted and the other two moved up close in rear, the Tenth Alabama extending in part beyond the right flank and the Ninth Alabama beyond the left flank of Mott's regiment. This movement caused no further development of the enemy's position or strength. The two flank companies of the Nineteenth Mississippi, Captains Macon and Martin, were now thrown as skirmishers, with orders to advance as far as practicable, drive in the enemy's skirmishers, and retire only when forced to do so by superior numbers. The skirmish line had penetrated less than 200 yards when they became involved in a brisk skirmish, the enemy's shots wounding by its increase that the enemy's line of battle had been encountered.
After a spirited skirmish of some ten or fifteen minutes the two companies retired, having captured a lieutenant and some 10 or 12 men. Captain Macon, the senior of the two captains, was mortally wounded, and to the clear and intelligible report of this officer, while suffering intensely from his wound, is to be attributed much of the credit due for our success during the subsequent part of the day. He reported the enemy's line of battle at about 200 yards distance in our front and nearly parallel with ours; theirs, in part, behind a rail fence, their right