At this time Colonel Terry fell upon my left; Lieutenant-Colonel Hairston also, and the horse of Major Sinclair had been killed under him. Lieutenant-Colonel Badham fell upon my right, and I found that Major Maury, of the Twenty-fourth Virginia, and myself were the only field officers remaining mounted. I had previously sent my adjutant to General Hill, announcing my loss and the danger of my position, and earnestly begging re-enforcements; but finding my force too small, and the position fatally destructive, I did not wait his return, but ordered my command to fall off down to the cover of the fence, and immediately after I received the order to retreat. The charge upon the battery was not attended by success. I have not doubt it would have been had the Twenty-third North Carolina and the Thirty-eighth Virginia, as originally designated, participated in the assault, for the enemy were so much disconcerted at the persistent advance of the troops that he drew off one or more of his pieces, and his infantry, under the severe fire of the two regiments, hastily sought shelter in and behind the redoubt. How heroically my men and officers endeavored to execute the charge intrusted to them the list of casualties hereto appended will exhibit; and it is a matter of pride to the survivors, as it was to all engaged, to know that their whole conduct was under the direction and immediate observation of their major and brigadier generals, the latter who fell while bravely leading the attack.
All of my officers and men behaved whit equal courage, and no discrimination can be made among them. My regiment is now so reduced as to be inefficient. I beg that it may be speedily supplied, and I ask you, general, in calling to the attention of the Department this request, to suggest that my first lieutenants, who are now with me, may be assigned to the companies which have lost their captains by death, wounds, and imprisonment, except in the case of Captain H. C. Jones, who was wounded, but who escaped, and who, I hope, will soon resume his command.
My adjutant, who was with me throughout the fight, rendered me valuable assistance, and his good conduct did not, I am sure, fail to attract your attention.
I beg to bring to your notice another instance of patriotic action which merits remark-Mr. Nicholson C. Washington, a young gentleman of Saint Louis, who volunteered as s private in my ranks and on this occasion accompanied me as my orderly on the field. He maintained his position by my side and delivered my orders along the line with coolness and precision. I ask your favorable consideration to his claims for a commission.
I was unable to bring off more than 40 of the wounded.
I have the honor to accompany this with a list of casualties in this and other regiments of this brigade.*
I have the honor to be, very respectfully,
D. K. McRAE,
Colonel Fifth North Carolina Regiment, Commanding Brigade.
*See Numbers 61.