War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0974 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

field in the edge of which they had first halted and entering the woods on the o1)posite side, drivipg the enemy before them, encountered a Lcixv fire of musketry 111)01] its right and front and finally upon the rear ot its right wing. llnder these circumstances, and finding that my right was not sn~)portedby the brigade of General Rains, which was but a short distan(:e behind, and which, having advanced somewhat, exteuided 110W from a 1)Oint opposite tile center of the Sixth Alabama Itegiuiient towar(1 the rioht and was in sight of the Sixth Alabama Regiment, I ordered this regiment to fall back to the position it had last occupied on time edge of the field, where it was abont in line with the enemys intreticli- ments, and where, though still under fire, it was somewh~~t protected. I feel decidedly confident that if we had been properly snpported in the last charge the brigade would have marched on with uninterrupted progress, because the enemy invariably yielded to a direct advance, and the men and officers of this brigade everywhere exhibited great courage and an earmiest desire to close with him. When the Sixth Alabama moved back, the right wing of the Twelfth Alabama, under command of its lientenant-colonelCol. It. T. Jones having been killed a few minutes before, while leading forward his menretired with it and took position on its left behind the intrench- ments. The left wing also started to retire, but at the command of its major (S. B. Pickens) 1)rOl]lPtlY resumne(1 its position, but afterward fell back to a position in front of the intrenchmnents. At this time a por- hon of the Heavy Artillery Battalion retired and, I regret to say, hea(led by their otficers, took refuge in tile ditches in front of the enemys ic- doubt, a l)OsitiOn from which I had much difficulty in dislodging them when they were called upon to maim the redoubt. I did not attempt to re-establish either this portion of the battalion or the Twelfth Alabama Regiment in the position from which they had withdrawn, because it was evident that nothing could be efiected to- ward an advance while the right wing of the brigade was so exposed. A part of the battalion, the Fifth Alabama, and Twelfth Mississippi Reiimmemmts coimtiimiied to hold their gronn(l steadily, though subjecte(1 t~o a constant fire from the enemys uiusketmy, which inflicted a severe loss 111)011 them. Time enenmys batteries in the mean time had beeu silenced, but while time contest between them and our owim was going on the Twelfth Mississippi and a I)ortiou of the Fifth Alabama, which were directly between these batteries, maintained their posts without flumiching. Just after time T~velfth Alabama had fallen back and about aim hour after time brigade had assumed its most advammced position, durimi~ whmiclm time it had becinm under constaimt fire of musketry, re-enforce- Inents comnimmenced to arrive, and in assistimig Geimeral Keniper to place his briga(le, so that it coul(l move forward to relieve my advance regi- meuts, which by this tiume had been nuder fire frilly three hours, 1 re- cci ve(l a wonII(l un time arm, which ill a short time becamime so painful as to compel inc to turn over the comnumaud of tile brigade to Colonel Gor- (Ion, of the Sixth Alabama. I did not leave the field, though, mmtih sun- set. TIme loss imin the brigade, and especially in the Sixth Alabama and Twelfth Mississippi Reginments, had already been serious, but in this seconti forward movement, and while holding the advanced imosition, the loss inflicted upon it was far heavier, the Sixth Alabaimma having lost more thaum half its force. Among the other casualties incident to the second advance I regret to say that some of the best officers of the brigade were killed. Col.