Pryor's brigade, which was then on the extreme left of General Longstreet's division, I was requested by General Pryor to bring my brigade to the support of his. I immediately saw the necessity of doing so, threw my men into line of battle, and marched them in. On looking to our extreme left I saw that an attempt would be made by the enemy to flank us, probably with a very heavy force, and immediately sent back one of my aides (Lieutenant Sykes) to General Longstreet, requesting him to hurry up the re-enforcements. General Longstreet had informed me to our march to the field of action that re-enforcement would be sent forward.
My brigade was advanced to the front lines to or near a fence at the edge of the field. Here they opened a steady fire on the enemy's lines, and the enemy pouring a well-directed fire into our ranks, and seemed not to be giving way, but inclined to advance. My first determination after giving them a few fires was to order a charge, but believing the force in front to be vastly superior to ours, and seeing that a flank movement was contemplated by the enemy, I declined to do so, for the reason that it might have resulted in having my small command surrounded and cut off before re-enforcements sent for could come up to our support. At this time I received a painful wound in the shoulder and was compelled to retire from the field. When I left the field General Gregg's brigade had reached it and was but a short distance in rear of mine, forming in line.
For what occurred subsequently I refer you to reports of regimental commanders, herewith transmitted.*
For the casualties+ and list of those who distinguished themselves in this engagement I also refer you to lists appended hereto.
I regret to learn that in this engagement Lieutenant Colonel John G. Taylor, of the Second Mississippi Battalion, fell mortally wounded and died in a few hours. The loss of so gallant, skillful, and experienced an officer at such a time cannot but be seriously felt to the cause. Resigning his office in the old Army at an early period in this revolution, and quitting his native State (Kentucky) and coming here to unite his fortune with ours, the people of the Confederacy should cherish his memory and mourn his loss.
On this occasion as on the former I am greatly indebted to my staff for their valuable services. Captain Parker and Lieutenant Redding were at the right time in the execution of orders. Major W. R. Barksdale was also present and rendered valuable services, assisting me to bring the men into line of battle and getting them into position. Knowing the scarcity of field officers, I sent him to the left of the brigade, to remain there and aid in controlling the movements of that wing. He displayed great coolness, courage, and sagacity. Captain Winn, of General Wilcox's staff, tendered his services to me as we were going on the field as a volunteer aide, to whom I felt much indebted for his assistance and gallant bearing.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
W. S. FEATHERSTON,
Brigadier General, Commanding Sixth Brigade, Longstreet's Division.
Major G. MOXLEY SORREL,
A. A. G., Major-General Longstreet's Division.