War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0948 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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steadily giving back. The ranks of the enemy having broken to our right and front and the fire having lessened, I halted the lines, dressed them, and then changed front obliquely forward.

Following the retreating enemy either fresh troops of heavy re-enforcements met us, and in front of their third camp offered us battle with greatly superior numbers. Without pausing our lines moved on him, and our steady advance was not to be resisted. After a most obstinate resistance and terrible slaughter the enemy gave back to our left and right across the Williamsburg road, about a mile or more from General Casey's headquarters. Following the latter and heavier body, they were again re-enforced and took position in a wood parallel and about 300 yards on the right of the Williamsburg road. With the Sixth Regiment South Carolina Volunteers and six companies of my regiment in line in the bed of the Williamsburg road and with five companies sweeping the remnant of the enemy who had retired to our left, I was fired upon by our battery near General Casey's headquarters, the fire enfilading my line in the road and leading me to believe that I had gotten too far in the enemy's rear; but on sending notice of my position to General D. H. Hill the fire was stopped. By this time my lift five companies had gained the road. The fire from our battery rendered me uncertain as to the location of my command; but at this moment Major William Anderson, the commanding my regiment, reported to me a heavy column of the enemy advancing on me by the Williamsburg road, and being then engaged with superior numbers in my front and not wishing to retire, I determined to break the enemy in front before I could be reached by this new advance, and then by a change of front to meet them.

I sent my adjutant, Captain Seabrook, to get re-enforcements either from General Anderson or General Hill, and ordering Major William Anderson to fight the advance of the column on the Williamsburg road with my left two companies (Kilpatrick's and Martin's), I carried forward swiftly and steadily my line against the enemy. Having to pass across an open field on this advance I lost heavily, but succeeded in routing and dispersing the enemy in my front, driving them at least a quarter of a mile; then, gathering my men promptly, and finding out from Lieutenant Colonel J. M. Steedman, who was then in command of the Sixth (Colonel Bratton having been wounded), that one of his men had reported the Fifth South Carolina Volunteers as being in our rear at the enemy's trenches, which they had taken in gallant style, I dispatched Adjutant Gaillard, of the Sixth, to order the regiment forward as rapidly as possible.

In the mean while, Major William Anderson advancing down the Williamsburg road and firing upon the enemy's advanced skirmishers, they retired to the advancing column, and in the momentary check gave me time to make my dispositions to meet them. Having dressed the lines, I moved by the flank, under cover of the wood to avoid the fire of our battery to the left of the Williamsburg road, and took up line of battle oblique to the road and to the left, so as to present front at once to the enemy's advance by the road and to any rallied party that might recover from my last attack. I had formed my line of battle in the manner indicated for want of numbers to occupy a position I preferred, facing the enemy coming on the Williamsburg road, but Captain Seabrook, my adjutant, who had been sent to General Anderson for re-enforcements, reported to me the Twenty-eighth Georgia [was] about 300 yards to my rear, and I sent him to bring them up at the double-quick.

During this time we had evidence of the near approach of the enemy