Magruder, my command was moved up and held in reserve in a ravine about 1,200 yards from the enemy's batteries, at which place it was subjected to a shelling unsurpassed for severity in any conflict during the war.
Between 5 and 6 p.m. Captain Latrobe delivered an order from Major-General Magruder to me to move forward to the support of Brigadier General D. R. Jones' division. My brigade was flanked to the right about 300 yards and then advanced in line of battle. The advance commenced a distance of not less than 800 yards from the enemy's guns. The right of my line, consisting of the Fifteenth Virginia, Thirty-second Virginia, and a part of the Fifth Louisiana, advancing in an open field in full view of the enemy's guns and being much exposed to his missiles, distance was taken to the left, so as to bring these regiments under cover, first of the wood and then of a hill in the open ground in front, as far as practicable.
At or about the time this movement was progressing Colonel August, commanding the Fifteenth Virginia Volunteers, and a number of his men were wounded and two men of the Thirty-second Virginia Volunteers killed. My own coat, while I was in front of the Fifteenth Virginia, was cut by a fragment of a shell. Major John S. Walker, of the Fifteenth Virginia Volunteers, was soon after killed while advancing with his regiment.
Having passed beyond the center of the line, and judging that sufficient distance had been gained to the left, the advance was resumed. Finding myself in front of the Tenth Georgia Volunteers and to the left of the Fifty-third Georgia, the fence separating the wood from the open ground was passed over, and the Tenth Georgia Volunteers, then under command of Captain Holt-Colonel Cumming, while gallantly leading his regiment, having been previously stricken down by a fragment of a shell and stunned and borne from the field-and Company K, of the Fifty-third Georgia Volunteers, Lieutenant McCowan commanding, were halted and reformed immediately on the right of our disabled batteries, which had ceased to reply to those of the enemy. The line, being reformed, was moved obliquely to the right and most of the time for a distance of not less than 500 yards in full view of the enemy's artillery, and, after having attained the slope under and about 200 yards from the crest on which guns were in position, was halted preparatory to making a charge.
Some minutes after the Tenth Louisiana Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Waggaman, appeared and traversed nearly the same ground over which the Tenth Georgia and Company K, of the Fifty-third Georgia Volunteer, had passed. An order was borne by Lieutenant Cody, volunteer aide to Lieutenant-Colonel Waggaman, commanding Tenth Louisiana Volunteer, to incline to and form on my right, which was accomplished.
Owing to a misconception of orders, the difficulties of the ground, and the lateness of the hour only 557 of my men were finally brought into action. Lieutenant Benning, First Georgia Regulars, of Anderson's brigade, reporting his presence with a company of that regiment which had become separated therefrom, was ordered to take post on the left of the Tenth Louisiana. Parts of North Carolina and Mississippi regiments were found on the ground and formed on Benning's left, the Tenth Georgia and Company K, of the Fifty-third Georgia, being on the left. There were parts of numbers of other regiments on the slopes and in the ravines to which orders were sent to join in the charge, using for this purpose Captain Briggs and Lieutenant Cody, of my