War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0972 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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which we were to move being covered with very thick nndergrowth, and the soil being very marshy, so marshy that it was with great diffi- cidty either horses or men could get over it, and being guided only by the fire in front, I emerged from the woods upon the Williamsburg road under a heavy fire of both artillery and musketry with only five companies of the Fifth Alabama; the remaining companies, having become separated, had moved into the abatis in their front and on the right of the Twelfth Mississippi. Finding that the Twelfth Mississippi had moved forward into the abitis and was gallantly holding its OWII along its front, and my battle instructions requiring me to operate upon the right of the Williamsburg road, I ordered the left wing of time Fifth to move through the abatis and join the right, and moving toward the right myself~ found the battalion of heavy artillery oppOsite their position in line, but hmilted and lying (lown in the wood behind the abatis, which Captain Bagby temporarily in command, informed me was in obedience to an order prom Major-General Hill. Ordering them forward, I proceeded farther to the right, and found that the Twelfth Alabama, which had moved over less difficult ground than the other regiments had, was considerably in advance of the brigade, and that, together with the Sixth, still deployed as skirmishers, it was engaging the enemy, having driven himn steadily up to his intrench- ments. Concentrating the Sixth, I moved both it and time Twelfth Alabama about 60 yards to the rear, in order to form the whole brigade in a continuous limme .preparatory to an advance upon time enemys earth- works. While arranging the line of battle the left wing of the Filth Alabama Regiment, under Maj. E. L. Hobson (Lieut. Col. J. M. Hall having been wounded), in its eagerness to engage the enemy at close quarters and having misunderstood my order to move to the right, moved for- ward withomrt orders into the field in front of the abatis and directly under the guns of the redoubt. After holding its position there a few minutes and finding that its movement was premature it moved back in perfect order, under a heavy fire of artillery and musketry, to the front of the abatis. My line of battle was thus completed. It was formed under a heavy fire throughout its entire extent and seemed about equal in extent to that of the enemy, which was then in front of his camp and was protected by a redoubt and intrenchments. My instructions for battle required me under these circumstances to move my command the length of a brigade to the right to give place to the supporting brigade, but having discovered S00~ after my arrival upon the field in front of the enemys works some of time troops of the supporting brigade on the right of my brigade, I sent to communicate with its commanding officer, and found the whole of his brigade on the right of my own. I therefore determined to attack from the position my brigade then held and requested General Rains, who commuanded the supporting brigade, through an officer of my staff and soon after in person, to move forward his brigade through the woods, so as to protect my right flank while I attacked the enemy in front. He stated to me that he apprehended an attack on his own right flank, and de- clined, therefore, to move; his brigade had a few moments l)efore oc- cupied a line extending from my right obliquely to the front, amid at the moment of our conversation was being thrown back on a line l)arallel to and a little in rear of that occupied by mine. By this time the enemy began to show signs of wavering under ihe effects of a heavy fire from a Confederate battery on my left, which proved to be the King William 4rtillery, under Captain Carter. Their