War of the Rebellion: Serial 013 Page 0598 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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movement, and I led the Thirteenth Georgia [the right of the brigade] as rapidly as possible through the wood toward the point indicated. Leading in person the foremost regiment, of course I could not see through the woods whether the other regiments were closed up behind us. When I reached the open field and stood with the Thirteenth Regiment under as heavy a fire of shot and shell as was ever known to the most experienced veterans, I ascertained that the other regiments of the brigade had taken a different route or missed the road through the wood. It was then nearly dark; the fire of the enemy's battery was doing great execution; our friends evidently wanted assistance, and no time was to be lost. Ordering the Thirteenth to lie down in a ravine for a few minutes until I could go forward toward the battery and endeavor to ascertain the best route by which to advance, I soon discerned that I must move with the fire of the battery as my only guide. This regiment was ordered up from the ravine and it advanced rapidly and handsomely over every obstacle-woods, ditches, fences, and streams-until the height on the same level with the enemy's battery, opposite Littleton's house, was gained. Still onward they pressed, and met with a heavy loss from the fire of musketry that was posted to support the battery. While crossing the road just below the height to which this regiment was advancing I was met by Brigadier-General Winder, who suggested that the height might be reached by a better route along the position where a portion of his command was engaged. I then permitted the head of the column to proceed, under the lead of Colonel Douglass, and attempted to direct the remainder toward the route indicated by General Winder. The darkness and confusion made it difficult to adopt any new order or check the impetuosity of this regiment. Having gained this height, the advanced position of General Jackson's army, I determined to hold it until further orders; returned promptly for the rest of my command; found the other five regiments formed in good order; marched them up to the height occupied by the Thirteenth, and bivouacked for the night.

The enemy, having removed his battery to a more secure position, commenced shelling the height occupied by my brigade, throwing one shell every two or three minutes for nearly an hour after the engagement was properly at an end. But for the fact that I caused the men to lie down behind the crest of the hill on the slope toward the wood the casualties must have been numerous. In the morning appearances indicated for a while an intention on the part of the enemy to renew the contest, and I was making preparations to receive him. It was soon evident, however, that these demonstrations only served to protect his flight, which continued during the drenching rain of that day.

The Thirteenth Georgia was the only regiment of the brigade actively engaged in the fight, and nothing could exceed the energy, valor, and zeal exhibited by officers and men during their impetuous charge. The other regiments were within range of shells for three or four hours, and from these several casualties ensued. I beg leave to refer to the annexed list of killed and wounded and to the report of Colonel Douglass for further details of the part taken by the Thirteenth Regiment.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Captain A. S. PENDLETON,

Assistant Adjutant-General.