War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0962 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. XXIII.

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ments were brought into line of battle to support the skirmishers, who, without retiring behind them to reform, became in many places inter- mingled in their ranks, and so continued throughout the day. We drove the enemy before us out of the woods back into the abatis, where they had several regiments drawim up behind a fence to support theni. I am of opinion that the line of skirmishers upon our right, on the oppo- site side of the road, did not advance so rapidly as our own, for Maj. W. S. Wilson, of the Second Mississippi Battalion, rel)orts that the right of our advancing line was subjected to a fire both fiomn the front and flank. We had now reached the edge of the wood, where the abatis impeded our farther advance, and the troops were under heavy fire. Sending my aide, Lieutenant Halsey, my adjutant-general, Captain Meeni, and a courier to order the several regiments of the center and left to move by the left flank, as previously concerted, and endeavor to turn the obstacles in front, I repaired to the right of my hue to give the same orders. I now learned that Colonel McIRae, suffering from previous ill- ness, had been compelled to retire in a state of utter physical exhaus- tion. I had relied much upon his services in looking after the right of our long line in the woods. A portion of his regiment I found temn- porarily confused from causes no way reflecting upon their gallantry, and I assisted Maj. P. J. Sinclair to rally them, and they again ~veut forward nuder his command (see his report).* I also assisted Colonel Christie, Twenty-third North Carolina, to reform and send forward a portion of his regiment, which had halted under the impression that some order had been given to retire (see that report). About time same time, Major Maury having fallen, I assisted in keeping the Twenty- fourth Virginia to its place, some embarrassment amid delay having been produced by his fall. During this time 1 was without any staff or couriers, having dis- patched my aide and adjutant-general to carry orders, an(l in y unemn- ployed couriers were either wQnnded, dismounted, or separated from inc in going through the woods. Hurrying forward imi person to the abatis, I found that as the regiments emerged from the woods they overlapped each other as they deployed, and being thus in many l)laces huddled together, were suffering terribly from the enemys fire. Time regimental commanders, who had received my orders to move by the left ibmik, were unable to effect the movement in good order nn(ier the galling fire. The alternative was adoptedto push the regiments forward through the abatis against the enemy, which was (lone, the Second Florida on the left and in advance; the Thirty-eighth Virginia, now next omi its right, only a little behind. I have mentioned the reasons which caused the other regiments to be not quite so far up a.t this tinie. But they were readily reformed (stragglers excepted), and weuit forward either by themselves or with other regiments now coming up to their support. I should have sent back earlier for the supi)orting brigade to hurry up to our snpport, but, as already mentioned, luid no muessenger to ~Cn(l and could not leave for that purpose mnyself. I trusted to Colonel Andersons intuition as an. accomplished soldier to l)erceive that we were hotly emugaged, and, as I anticipated, he arrived upon the field just at the proper time. Mean~vhmi1e my regiments had advanced more or less into the abatis, the Second Florida and Thirty-eighth Virginia up to the fence, and driving away the gunners and killing the horses from a section of artil * Not found.