BATTLE OF MALVERN HILL.
Proceeding to execute it, I sent my principal adjutant-general (Major Henry Bryan) to put in motion the brigade of General Wright. This was about 5.30 p. m. Having given Major Bryan ample time to execute this order, and finding Jones' division not yet up, owing to the extreme difficulty of the ground over which he had to pass, and having sent off all my staff officers on urgent errands, I proceeded to address a few words to Mahone's brigade and ordered it forward. Returning rapidly to the center, I directed General Armistead to advance with the remainder of his brigade. Being informed by him that his best troops were already in front, those on hand being raw, I directed the three regiments of Cobb's brigade, then on the spot, instead of Armistead's force, to advance in line and attack the enemy in front, and they moved forward accordingly without delay.
At this moment I sent an order to General Ransom, on my left, to advance, and I proceeded in person to Colonel Barksdale's brigade, of my own division, superintended its formation, and directed him to advance to the support of the troops which had already preceded him on the right. Here the fire of the enemy's grape, shrapnel, and round-shot was terrific, stripping the limbs from trees and plowing up the ground under our feet.
This gallant brigade, not quailing for an instant, advanced steadily into the fight. On my return to the position I had selected, and to which I directed my staff officers to report, I learned by note from General Ransom that neither he nor General Huger knew where the battery was, and that all orders coming to him must come through General Huger. (See inclosure Numbers 7.)
I sent several staff officers successively, urging him to advance to the front and attack on the left and in support of those who by this time were hotly engaged; but this gallant officer felt himself constrained to obey his instructions and withheld the desired support. He nevertheless afterward sent me one regiment, which was ordered into action on the left of those already engaged.
The fire of musketry and artillery now raged with terrific fury. The battle-field was enveloped in smoke, relieved only by flashes from the lines of contending troops. Round shot and grape crashed through the woods, and shells of enormous size, which reached far beyond the headquarters of our gallant commander-in-chief, burst amid the artillery parked in the rear. Belgian missives and Minie balls lent their aid to this scene of surpassing grandeur and sublimity. Amid all our gallant troops in front pressed on to victory, now cheered by the rapid fire of friends on their left, as they had been encouraged in their advance by the gallant brigades on the right, commanded by Generals Wright and Mahone. Nevertheless the enemy, from his strong position and great numbers, resisted stoutly the onset of our heroic bands, and bringing into action his heavy reserves, some of our men were compelled to fall back. They were easily rallied, however, and led again with fury to the attack. The noble, accomplished, and gallant Harrison, commander of the Charles City Troop, uniting his exertions with my own, rallied regiment after regiment, and, leading one of them to the front, fell, pierced with seven wounds, near the enemy's batteries.
Holding the strong position of the wood and ravine with one regiment of Armistead's brigade, I ordered the remainder of his brigade to the support of those in front, and about this time that skillful and