the brigades or brigade in front of them, the skirmishers engaging the sharpshooters and the supporting brigade occupying the position of the brigades during the flank movement. The division of Major-General Huger was intended to make a strong flank movement around the left of the enemy's position and attack him in rear of that flank. This division did not get into position, however, in time for any such attack, and I was obliged to send three of my small brigades on the Charles City road to support the one of Major-General Huger's which had been ordered to protect my right flank.
After waiting some six hours for these troops to get into position I determined to move forward without regard to them, and gave orders to that effect to Major General D. H. Hill.
The forward movement began abut 2 o'clock, and our skirmishers soon became engaged with those of the enemy. The entire division of General Hill became engaged about 3 o'clock, and drove the enemy steadily back, gaining possession of his abatis and part of his intrenched camp; General Rodes, by a movement to the right, driving in the enemy's left.
The only re-enforcements on the field in hand were my own brigades, of which Anderson's, Wilcox's, and Kemper's were put in by the front on the Williamsburg road, and Colston's and Pryor's by my right flank; Colston's just in time to turn the enemy's flank. At the same time the decided and gallant attack made by the other brigades gained entire possession of the enemy's position, with his artillery, camp equipage, &c. Anderson's brigade, under Colonel Jenkins, pressing forward rapidly, continued to drive the enemy until night-fall.
The severest part of the work was done by Major General D. H. Hill's division, but the attack of the two brigades under General R. H. Anderson-one commanded by Colonel Kemper (now brigadier-general), the other by Colonel M. Jenkins- was made with such spirit and regularity as to have driven back the most determined foe. This decided the day in our favor.
General Pickett's brigade was held in reserve. General Pryor's did not succeed in getting upon the field of Saturday in time to take part in the action of the 31st. Both, however, shared in repulsing a serious attack upon our position on Sunday, the 1st instant, Pickett's brigade bearing the brunt of the attack and repulsing it.
Some of the brigades to believe that the affair would have been a complete success had the troops upon the right been put in position within eight hours of the proper time. The want of promptness on that part of the field and the consequent severe struggle in my front so greatly reduced my supply of ammunition, that at the late hour of the move on the left I was unable to make the rush necessary to relieve that attack.
Besides the good effect produced by driving back such heavy masses of the enemy, we have made superior soldiers of several brigades that were entirely fresh and unreliable. There can scarcely be a doubt about our ability to overcome the enemy upon any fair field.
The conduct of the attack was left entirely to Major-General Hill. The entire success of the affair is sufficient evidence of his ability, courage, and skill. I refer you to his report for particulars mention of the conduct of his officers and soldiers. I will mention Brigadier-General Rodes, of that division, as distinguished for coolness, ability,