War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0631 Chapter XXIII. ENGAGEMENT AT WEST POINT, VA.

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ably to your instructions, Colonel J. J. Archer, with his regiment, Fifth Texas, of this brigade, proceeded on the blind road leading to Eltham's Landing, on the Pamunkey River, to reconnoiter and drive in the skirmishers of the enemy. He soon met them and drove them steadily in front of him.

I at once proceeded with the remainder of the brigade, Colonel John Marshall's (Fourth Texas) regiment, Colonel A. T. Rainey's (First Texas) regiment, Colonel W. T. Wofford's (Eighteenth Georgia) regiment, Lieutenant Colonel S. Z. Ruff commanding and the battery of Captain W. L. Balthis, on the road leading, from New Kent Court-House to this landing.

On arriving within some 20 paces of our cavalry pickets the enemy suddenly appeared, deployed as skirmishers, and immediately opened their fire. The Fourth Texas Regiment was in front and their arms unloaded, as I had not thought it necessary to load so long as I was within our line of pickets. They, however, soon loaded under the enemy's fire and drove them back into the timber. Leaving at this point the battery and the Eighteenth Georgia Regiment, I threw forward the Fourth Texas as skirmishers, supported by the First Texas Regiment, driving the enemy through a dense forest with considerable loss.

The enemy during this time were re-enforced and placed in position to receive me. The First Texas Regiment was accordingly attacked with a terrible fire on its flank by two regiments. I immediately threw one wing of this regiment back and the other forward, which caused some little confusion, which being soon rectified, they, with Captains Porter's and Martin's companies, of the Fourth Texas Regiment, and a platoon of Captain Carter's company, of the same regiment, charged gallantly forward, driving the enemy in utter confusion in front of them. Immediately after this Colonel Archer came up with his regiment and took position on the right in line of battle.

Having driven the enemy a distance of 1 1/2 miles, through a most difficult forest, forcing him under the protection of his gunboats, I then at 2.30 p.m., according to instructions, gathered up the killed and wounded and returned in perfect order to the bivouac I left in the morning.

I would respectfully state that Colonel Hampton, with about 400 of his Legion, forced the enemy on the right to return to the protection of their gunboats, and that General Anderson arrived about noon with two regiments and held securely my left flank.

I captured some 40 prisoners and secured 84 stand of arms. The density of the forest and the large area over which the engagement extended prevented my securing more of the latter without permitting my men to straggle.

The force engaged against me was one brigade in the beginning, and I am of the opinion that it was considerably re-enforced.

The loss of the enemy in killed and wounded was heavy, and I think, from personal observation, that it could not have been less than 300, although it was impossible to approximate to the exact number in consequence of the facts already referred to.

Captain W. H. Sellers, assistant adjutant-general, and Lieutenant D. L. Sublett, aide-de-camp, rendered me most efficient services in bringing forward the troops and transmitting orders.

The conduct of officers and men, one and all, was beyond all praise.

My attention was particularly called to the great gallantry of Captain