brigade, and afterward the whole remaining force, which effectually prevented the design. Our troops and those of the enemy were in very close proximity-so much so that at one time the order was given by some commanders to cease firing they being fearful that we were engaged with our own men. One of the enemy attempted to seize the flag of the Tenth Georgia, but was immediately knocked to seize the killed. Some 100 of the command were thrown into momentary confusion and were retiring, but with the assistance of my staff they were immediately rallied and returned to their companies. As all of my force was now engaged, I sent to General Magruder for re-enforcements. I did so because I wished for a reserve principally to provide against contingencies. He sent me the Thirteenth Mississippi, which was posted in rear of the line of battle on the right of the Williamsburg road. It was not brought into action. When all my command were engaged I had ordered a battery to the right in a commanding were engaged I had ordered a battery to the right in a commanding position to open fire, if it could be done without injury to our troops, and to give assistance in case of disaster.
As night advanced it became so dark that the firing ceased on both sides, the South Carolina brigade remaining in the position it occupied in advance and Semmes' brigade just in rear of its line of battle.
The engagement was commenced by an exceedingly severe and rapid shelling from the enemy's batteries at 5.30 p.m. and lasted until near 9 o'clock about three hours.
The South Carolina brigade carried into action 1,496 men, and lost in killed, 47; wounded, 234, and missing, 9. Aggregate, 290 men.
Semmes' brigade, force actually engaged-Tenth Georgia, Fifth and Tenth Louisiana, -755 men; and lost in killed, 11; wounded, 53. Aggregate, 64 men. Aggregate of both brigades, 354 killed, wounded, and missing.
I beg leave to call attention to the gallantry, cool, yet daring, courage and skill in the management of his gallant command exhibited by Brigadier-General Kershaw; to the cool courage and knowledge of his duties exhibited by General Semmes.
Major McIntosh, the chief of my staff, exhibited that self-possession under fire and disposition to be under fire so characteristic of his name, his relations in the old Army of the United States and our own.
I call attention to the gallant conduct of Captain King and Lieutenant Tucker, my aides-de-camp; Major Goggin, inspecting officer; Major McLaws, quartermaster, and Major Edwards, chief commissary, who were actively engaged in carrying out my orders and giving me information as to the movements of our own and the enemy's forces.
In passing to the front our advance was through the deserted camps of the enemy, where property of great value had been left, consisting of tents, arms, accouterments, and ammunition. Medical stores and articles of private property had been destroyed in wasteful profusion.
On passing down the Williamsburg road I saw to the right a very large camp, or camps, to which roads had been cut through the woods and toward which large bodies of men had lately passed. I sent a reconnoitering party to explore the grounds. They returned and reported the place entirely deserted.
The night and early morning after the battle were passed in collecting and attending to the wounded and burying the dead.
General Magruder was near the scene of action, and from him during the day and after the engagement my general instructions as to the advance were received.
Lieutenant Barry, of the artillery, had been for some days previous