War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0990 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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only anxious to find the enemy in force, who were still making resist- ance in front of Longstreet and Hill. Hoods brigade had crossed the railroad to the right of the Nine-mile road, part of Whitings had also crossed, Pettigrew close upon it, with Hattons and Hamptons a short distance in rear, when a fire from two batteries of artillery opened upon the advance brigades from a position on their left and rear. These batteries were supported by infantry, and the fire becoming troublesome, it was determined to take them, at the same time not giving up the forward movement in favor of Longstreet. Night was fast approaching, and I received from General Johns~tou instructions to move all the troops within reach forward as fast as possible. This order was at once transmitted to General Magruder, who caused all his troops in that vicinity to be put in motion. General Johnston was at this time near the point where the Nine- mile road crosses the railroad. I was about half a mile farther back, and the batteries of the enemy on the left were in this rear, but in front of the position where I was. As soon as General Hampton came up I directed him to take a by-road through the woods leading to the left and front; left orders for Hattons brigade to come on by the main road, and moved forward to an open field upon the left-hand side of the road. From this point I could for the first time see the relative positions of the batteries and the different brigades. I soon learned that Gen- eral Whitings brigade was returning to attack the batteries; that Pet- tigrews brigade was also moving in that direction; that Hampton had come upon it and had already attacked, and that the three brigadier- generals were all apprised of each others relative positions, and were acting in concert under Whitings orders. The force of the enemy was not known, but it was confidently believed that we would soon capture or drive off the batteries and resume our march in support of Longstreet. The musketry firing now rapidly increased, and after a short time, becoming impatient of the delay, I rode across the open field. to the woods where the troops were engaged, and there learned from Colonel Lee, of the artillery, that General Hampton had driven the enemy some distance through the woods, but that they were being rapidly re-enforced and held a strong position, either fortified or offering nat- ural shelter, and were fast extending beyond Hamptons left. The firing indicated that Whitings brigade and Pettigrews were fully oc- cupied by the enemy in their immediate front. Hattons brigade had in the mean time come up and was formed in the edge of the field near the Nine-mile road. Col. [C. E.] Lightfoots regiment, of Pettigrews brigade, was in the field in reserve. On learning from Colonel Lee the condition of affairs in Hamptons front, I immediately ordered Hattons brigade and Lightfoots regiment to move forward. The troops moved across the field with alacrity, and the precision of their movement in line of battle has been seldom equaled, even on the parade ground. I had not proceeded far into the wood before meeting with General Hampton. In a few words he com- municate(l to me the state of affairs, and instructions were at once given for putting the brigade of General Hatton and Colonel Light- foots regiment in close action At the same time they were already under a deadly fire in a dense, entangled wood, struggling through the morass, covered with logs and thick bushes. The men continued to advance without firing a shot until coming up with the front line of troops, already engaged, when they too commenced firing, advancing