field were two or three redoubts previously built by our troops, of at least one of which the enemy had possession, his artillery being posted in front of it near some farm houses and supported by a body of infantry, the balance of the infantry being in the redoubt and in the edge of the woods close by. The Twenty-fourth Virginia Regiment, as I had anticipated, came directly upon the battery, emerging from the woods over a fence into the field within musket range of the farm houses at which the battery was posted. This regiment, without pausing or wavering, charged upon the enemy under a heavy fire, and drove back his guns and the infantry supporting them to the cover of the redoubt mentioned and of the woods and a fence close by, and continued to advance upon him in the most gallant manner. I looked to the right to see if the other regiments were coming up to the support of the Twenty-fourth, but not observing them doing so, I sent orders for them to advance.
These were anticipated by Colonel McRae, of the Fifth North Carolina Regiment, who was on the extreme right of my brigade, and marched down with his regiment, as soon as it was possible for him to do so, to the support of the Twenty-fourth and the attack of the enemy, traversing the whole front that should have been occupied by the other two regiments.
Having received a very severe wound shortly after the charge made by the Twenty-fourth on the enemy's battery, I became so weak from loss of blood and suffered such excruciating pain that I was unable to direct the operations of the brigade, and was compelled to retire from the field just as the Fifth North Carolina Regiment, under the lead of its gallant colonel, made its charge upon the enemy's artillery and infantry, but its conduct has been reported to me by impartial witnesses. This regiment, in conjunction with the Twenty-fourth Virginia Regiment, made an attack upon the vastly-superior forces of the enemy, which for its gallantry is unsurpassed in the annals of warfare. Their conduct was such as to extort from the enemy himself the highest praise; but these regiments were not supported by the other two regiments of the brigade.
The Twenty-third North Carolina Regiment, it seems from the report of its commanding officer, was ordered by General Hill to change its front before it got through the woods, which brought it in rear of the Twenty-fourth Virginia Regiment, but it never got out of the woods. The Thirty-eighth Virginia Regiment, it seems, started to obey my order, though it was so late in doing so that before it got fairly under fire the Fifth North Carolina and Twenty-fourth Virginia had been ordered by General Hill to retire. Had these two latter regiments been properly supported they would unquestionably have captured the enemy's artillery and routed his infantry. As it was, the enemy was compelled to withdraw the most of this pieces from the field, and these two regiments did not give way, notwithstanding the fearful odds against them, until ordered to retire by General Hill. As a matter of course, they suffered severely, their loss being heaviest while falling back.
A number of valuable officers were killed in both regiments. The Fifth North Carolina Regiment lost its lieutenant-colonel J. C. Badham, a most excellent and gallant officer. It lost also several captains and lieutenant while gallantly performing their duty. The Twenty-fourth Virginia Regiment did not suffer so severely in killed, but Captain Jennings and First Radford, two officers of great worth, were killed on the field, and Captain Haden was mortally wounded.