in such close contiguity that neither could advance their pickets more than a few yards from the main body. Both positions were strong for defense, but an advance from either was hazardous in the extreme.
The disposition of the enemy as above indicated was made known to Major-General Magruder, who directed me in the forenoon to send two 12-pounder howitzers, of Brown's battery, with a regiment of Anderson's brigade as a support, to the overseer's house, equidistant from Dr. and Mr. James Garnett's, and to send two other regiments of the same brigade, as a support to two howitzers which he had instructed Lieutenant-Colonel Lee, chief of artillery, to post on the left of the Nine-mile road. This being done, the artillery was ordered to open upon the enemy wherever seen.
His working parties driven in and his supporting troops retired from view, the enemy opened a terrible artillery fire from his batteries on the right of the Golding house. The rest of Brown's battery, two smooth-bore 6-pounders and Lane's battery of six guns, were sent to Brown's assistance, and the fire was kept up vigorously for about twenty minutes longer, when the pieces were withdrawn by Lieutenant-Colonel Lee, agreeably to instructions.
In the afternoon, from the top of Mrs. Price's house I was the enemy drawn up in great force across the Chickahominy, ready to meet the steadily advancing lines of General Longstreet's command. So soon as the engagement began I directed Captain Dabney to open with his heavy battery of one 32-pounder Parrott gun, known as "Long Tom," and one 18-pounder rifled gun upon the enemy's left flank. Notwithstanding the necessity of indicating the direction and range from the house-top, this fire was continued with the happiest effect until night-fall. It has since been reported to me that an officer captured from one of the enemy's batteries stated that the fire from these guns was most disastrous.
Early in the afternoon Major-General Magruder notified me of his intention to feel the enemy along his entire front and directed me to issue the necessary orders to my command.
Near sunset he further directed me to send another regiment of Anderson's brigade to support the two placed in position in the forenoon on the left of the Nine-mile road. The fire on my right was to be the signal for commencing the demonstration. This order was communicated to Colonel Anderson verbally, but the pickets of General Toombs being in the immediate vicinity of the enemy, and believing a serious engagement with his brigade would be the result of this movement, I deemed it best to issue to him the following order in writing, first submitting it to General Magruder, who approved it:
The divisions to your right have been ordered by General Magruder to feel the enemy n their front with strong pickets, and to follow up to the utmost any advantage which may offer or success which may ensue. You are ordered to do the same, taking as your signal for advance the commencement of the movement on your right.
Shortly before sunset Lane's and Woolfolk's batteries, being stationed near and in front of the overseer's house, opened a brisk fire on the enemy for some ten minutes, drawing upon themselves so heavy a fire from the enemy's well-protected batteries that they were compelled to withdraw, not, however, until the enemy in their camps had suffered severely, as was afterward ascertained.
The expected signal-firing on the right-being given shortly after, General Toombs advanced seven companies of the Second Georgia Regiment toward the enemy's position, but before these could be deployed
44 R R-VOL XI, PT II