tenant Wright) were sent forward according to directions, as skirmishers, and remained detached from the regiment during the rest of the day.
Nothing of special interest occurred in the advance, so far as my command was concerned, until about 4 p.m., when I was ordered to follow Colonel Kennedy, Second South Carolina Regiment, moving by the left flank under cover, and take position on his left in a wood obliquely to the left of some intrenchments this side of Savage's farm, and in conjunction with Colonel Kennedy to charge the enemy in his works, drive him out, and capture his battery. The approach to this position was difficult, and although we arrived at it and made our disposition for the charge as soon as possible, we had barely completed our arrangements when we received official notice from the front that the enemy had retired. We then rejoined the brigade and resumed the advance march. We had not advanced much farther before we came up with the enemy near Savage Station and were halted. My regiment, when halted, held a position in a slight hollow in an open field, with its right flank resting on a wood of thick underbrush and forest timber, and its left resting on the right of Colonel Kennedy's regiment, whose left rested on the York River Railroad. The ground gradually ascended in our front for about 60 yards, where began a wood, whose line ran nearly parallel to our line of battle. This woods had a depth of about 400 yards. The first part, although of heavy timber, was rather open and not filled or obstructed by the thick underbrush, which alone was found in the last part of the wood. These bushes were of dense thickness, and continued to an open field 400 yards in front of our line of battle. The ground of these woods was slightly undulating. In the position I held my men were so well protected from the fire and shells of the enemy that they effected no injury to my command before the advance was made.
After some firing between the skirmishers and artillery of the contending parties we received the command forward and immediately thereafter the command to charge. The commands were obeyed with alacrity and great enthusiasm. My regiment dashed up the ascent in front through the woods, yelling as they went, and into the thick undergrowth, in which it was impossible to discover either friend or foe over 20 yards. We were not aware of the exact position of the enemy until we received his galling fire at a distance of 25 or 30 yards after we had proceeded some distance in the thick undergrowth already described. The fire checked us for a moment, but we pressed on slowly, returning the enemy's fire and making him yield gradually, when I ordered a charge, and pushed him out of the wood and some distance across the open field beyond. We had scarcely emerged from the woods before I heard, to my surprise, the command, "Cease firing." I immediately went to the right of the regiment, where I heard an officer giving this command, of whom I inquired by what authority he spake. He replied that it came from the right, and that he understood we were firing on our friends. Remembering the caution that had been given early in the day for all "line officers to repeat the commands," and knowing the impossibility of otherwise hearing the commands, recollecting that the brigadier-general was on our right as we entered the woods and thinking a body of troops moving our right-whose character I could not with certainty determine, on account of the approaching darkness and smoke of battle-might be our people moving on the enemy's flank, I ordered the regiment to cease firing.
We had scarcely ceased to fire before the enemy, either re-enforced