F. B. Jones, Second Virginia Volunteers, to proceed with my regiment to the field of battle, which I did at a quick-march, under his conduct, and proceeded about 2 miles. During the whole time a terrific fire if cannot and musketry was going on in my front. i immediately reported to the major-general commanding (not being aware of the position of General Garnett), who ordered me to support the troops engaged.
I had not, however, proceeded more that a few hundred yards when I received an order, through Major Jones, to file to the left into the woods and occupy a wooded ridge. Almost immediately thereafter, while the regiment was filing to the left, the major-general commanding approach and ordered me to occupy and those woods, and while filing the woods Major-General Garnett approached me and assigned me ny position near the top of the wooded ridge. In front of me was an open field and behind in a large and heavily timbered hill. My front was occupied by two regiments of the infantry of the enemy; on my left scattered squads of our men were retiring from the field; on my right a regiment of the enemy was approaching. I immediately ordered my men to open fire on the enemy. In a very short time the regiments of the enemy in my front were broken, one of them retiring and leaving its colors on the field; but they were almost immediately re-enforced by a fresh regiment, upon which they rallied.
At this time a regiment of the enemy opened fire upon my left, thus subjecting me to a heavy cross-fire. Seeing that my right was hard pressed, I rode forward to observe the cause and cheer them on. The regiment which was firing upon them at this moment gave way; but observing that my center and left had given way, I ordered them (the right companies) to cease firing; retired my colors a shots distance below my first position; ordered the regiment to form upon them, which was rapidly done; brought the regiment to an about-face, and continued to give the enemy fight.
This position I held for some time, contending with a largely-superior force, the enemy displaying six or seven regimental flags. I was then compelled to fall back to a position near the fence, at the edge of the woods, where I remained some minutes, until I found it was impossible to withstand a force so superior to me in numbers, there being at least six or eight to one engaged against me, and, in addition to that, it being quite dark, and a huge body of the enemy's cavalry threatening me on my left.
The gallant Forty-second Virginia Regiment had taken position my right and were most efficient engaged, but none other of our infantry were at that time engaged. After crossing the force I was joined by General Garnett, edith whom I retired from the field, my regiment being in much better order that I could have hoped under the circumstances, and fell back by Bartonsville to the train of wagons, which had retired beyond Newtown.
I believe that, under the providence of God, my regiment had the honor of contributing materially to the protection of the artillery and the preservation of the gallant men of other regiments, who from overpowering force and want of ammunition were compelled to retire from the field.
To the office and men of my command, without exception, I am greatly indebted for the gallantry, determination, and courage they displayed throughout my participation in this engagement. When the fact is considered that my men had the day before made a march of 26 miles, and before going into the fight had marched 13 miles on a rock pike, I think I may, without tear of criticism, claim for them the highest