in the early part of the day with a large force of the enemy's advance guard.
At this point Company B was deployed as skirmishers on our right, and remained in that position until just before crossing the last ridge, when it joined the regiment. Moving the rest of the command in the rear of Colonel Fulkerson's brigade, in the directions of the enemy's battery, to within 300 yards of the edge of the woods, at which point the Fourth Regiment was deployed in front of the Second, I received an order from General Garnett to support it.
While waiting in this position Major [Francis B.] Jones, who had been order for the First Brigade to occupy the wooded height to our left. In getting to this range of the enemy's batteries, which pounded in a very heavy fire of shell during the whole passage.
On arriving in the wood I occupied a sheltered position with my command and went across the ridge to report to General R. B. Garnett.
Soon after my return Major Jones again ordered us forward, and after crossing the ridge the firing of musketry began on our left and front. When I reached the last woods I brought my regiment into line by the right flank, and thus advancing came into action in rear of the Thirty-third, on my left, and the Irish Battalion, on my right, about 5 p. m. or soon after. The fire from the enemy was very brisk, but I advanced some paces beyond the line at first occupied. Seeing a wall in front in possession of the enemy, my object was to get possession of it; but owing to the rapid firing of the enemy and thick undergrowth only the right succeeded in reaching it, which they held until the order to retire for nearly given, about 6 p. m. Thus the men were exposed to a severe fire for nearly an hour, during which time they did not lose an inch of ground.
I cannot to highly commend the coolness and bravery of both officers and men, and it would be invidious to draw comparisons. I will therefore, only confine myself to the field and staff officers and commanders of companies who came especially under my observation.
Lieutenant Colonel Lawson Botts and Adjutant Hunter, both of when remained mounted during the day, the first on the left and in front, the latter near me in rear, maintained the possession of the line by their coolness and courage.
Major Jones I observed frequently during the day in the most exposed positions in discharge of his duties to the major-general.
I would also highly commend the action of Captain Rowan, Nadenbush, Hunter, Butler, Colston, and Moore; that latter, through wounded,
went back to the fight; also that of Lieutenants Randolph, Burgess, Lewis, and J. B. Davis, who were in command of their respective companies; and especially would I commend the conduct of Lieuts. J. B. Davis, Company K, and R. H. Lee, Company G, each of whom, after Color-Sergeant Crist fell dead at his post, is succession advanced and raised my colors and went forward and cheered on the men until each was shot down, the first struck by a spend ball, the latter badly wounded. I would also mention most honorably the conduct of Lieutenants Hoffman, Company D, and O. S. Colston, Company E, who were both badly wounded in the thickets fight.
My list of killed and wounded is herewith appended, which under the especial providence of God, who protected us in the thickets of the fight and retreat, is much smaller that could have been expected.*
*List tabulated on p. 384.