War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0598 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

was deployed, took position first in the skirt of the woods and afterward, in obedience to the order of General Wilcox, advanced about 150 yards farther up the hill.

Captain Macon was again ordered to deploy his company as skirmishers 50 yards in front, along the whole line of the regiment, from right to left. In the execution of this order he encountered a skirmishing party of the enemy and drove it back, killing several and taking two prisoners.

Company B, under Captain Martin, was ordered to skirmish from the left of the regiment, in concert with Captain Macon-engaging the enemy's skirmishers a second time, and driving them back until they came upon a large force posted behind a rail fence which ran parallel with our line of battle. The two companies at once retired, but not in time to escape the effects of a heavy discharge of musketry, in which Captain Macon was shot through both thighs and two other men wounded.

To the clear and intelligible account of the position and probable force of the enemy, given by this gallant officer while suffering the greatest agony, no small part of our subsequent successes is due. Some ten minutes after these companies were recalled a heavy fire was opened on the Tenth Alabama Regiment, which had been posted to the right. This continued about fifteen or twenty minutes, when I judged from the cheers of our men the enemy were repulsed.

A short time after this firing ceased our regiment received the order of General Wilcox to fix bayonets and drive the enemy from the position in which he had been discovered.

In consequence of the dense undergrowth and uneven ground Colonel Mott had placed the right wing of the regiment under my command, and directed me to operate with it according to my own discretion. At the command of our colonel the men advanced with great spirit and steadiness. A destructive fire was at once opened upon us by the enemy. In the first volley, as I was afterward informed, Colonel Mott fell, shot through the body while cheering on his men. The fight became at once general along our whole line. The men under my command pressed on to the attack with the utmost eagerness and yet with perfect coolness, keeping our line as unbroken as the nature of the ground would allow and firing with deliberation and telling effect. The enemy, partially protected by the fence behind which they were posted, contested the ground most stubbornly. The opposing lines could not have been more than 30 yards apart, and for a time I expected a hand-to-hand conflict with the bayonet; but at last, wavering before the impetuosity and undaunted resolution of our men, the enemy began to yield the ground, continuing to fire as they retired.

Just as we reached the fence above alluded to the [First] Virginia Regiment came upon our right companies, having been sent as re-enforcements. They continued with us, two companies fighting in line with my regiment, the others in the rear acting as a support. Passing the fence, where, in evidence of the precision of our fire, the enemy lay slain in large numbers, my men continued to drive the enemy before them until they reached an open place of felled timber, which formed an abatis for the enemy. Being on open ground, I deemed it proper to halt my command in order to connect it with the left wing, so that the unity and organization of the regiment could be preserved and the whole put under the command of its colonel.

The operations of the left wing of the regiment up to this time I cannot report from personal observation, but from Major John Mullins and