War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0591 Chapter XXIII. BATTLE OF WILLIAMSBURG, VA.

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extending beyond our right, and in front of their left low and boggy ground. This report was confirmed by the prisoners captured, the latter also stating that there were three brigades in my immediate front.

Being now fully aware of the proximity of the enemy and of his superior numbers, I dispatched a staff officer at once to Brigadier General A. P. Hill, with request to move forward at once. The Tenth Alabama was moved by the right flank, so as to uncover the Nineteenth Mississippi, and then by the left flank into position in line on its right; the Ninth Alabama formed in like manner on its left. A few shots were heard in front of the Tenth Alabama, and reported made from that regiment that commands given by the enemy were heard, revealing the fact that his left still extended beyond our right flank. The two left companies of the Ninth Alabama were detached and placed in rear and at right angles with the right of the Tenth, in order to protect this flank. I beg to be excused for entering into details, but am thus particular in giving the dispositions of my force, for it consisted at this time of one entire regiment (Nineteenth Mississippi), eight companies of the Tenth Alabama, and nine of the Ninth Alabama; in all about 1,100 men. One entire regiment (Eleventh Alabama) was absent, and one officer and ten men from each company present detailed to accompany the wagons and to assist them over the difficult parts of the road.

Brigadier General R. A. Pryor responded to my message sent to General Hill, and came to my support with two regiments of his brigade. General Hill had not been instructed to come to my support, and referred to General Longstreet. These were formed on the right of my command; the detached companies of the Ninth returned to their regiment.

The order to forward was now given. The line advanced boldly against the enemy, and became almost instantly engaged with the enemy in a close musketry fight. A heavy fire being concentrated on the Tenth, both in its front and from its right flank, it was thrown into some confusion and gave way. It soon reformed, in less than 100 yards, and returned to the attack with cheers.

General Hill reported at this time with his brigade, which was ordered into action, covering Pryor's two regiments and the Tenth Alabama. One of his regiments, First Virginia, Colonel Williams, 195 strong, was placed by myself in position in rear of the Ninth Alabama, with orders to follow and support that regiment and to assist in driving the enemy back. Hill's brigade went into action cheering, and advanced with great boldness. The musketry was more than doubled, and raged furiously. The enemy was made to yield ground rapidly. Brigadier-General Pickett's brigade soon followed and went into line on the right of Hill's brigade. One regiment of this brigade (Twenty-eighth Virginia, Colonel Allen) was placed in position by myself and directed to move forward to support the Nineteenth Mississippi and assist in the attack against the enemy. The musketry was now incessant and heavy, covering our whole front, and continued from this time, 11 a.m., with but little intermission, until near dark.

Being the senior officer present on the field, I gave orders to the different brigades as they arrived and personally directed portions of these into positions. This caused me to be separated during the first part of the advance of my own brigade. Having disposed of the troops as above indicated, during the remainder of the day I had charge of the left of the line, in which were portions of my own, Hill's, and Picketts' brigades,and later in the afternoon other troops sent as re-enforcemets. When the advance was first made, as previously stated, the troops became almost at once engaged. The Ninth Alabama encountered