talion, to report to Colonel Burks for orders. He was unable to find Colonel Burks, but reported to General Jackson, who sent orders to me to carry the battalion into action. As the battalion was advancing we met General Garnett, who ordered us to move forward into position. We proceeded accordingly over two or three wooded ridges to the point at which the firing of musketry occurred.
Several other corps advanced to the same point along with us. The firing of musketry continued. As we were advancing in line of battle, and had approached very near the crest of a hill occupied by our line, Second Lieutenant Overton, of Company A, informed me that General Garnett had ordered the battalion to be marched to a position nearer the left of our line. But there is some doubt whether the order was given by General Garnett or Colonel Grigsby. I ordered the battalion to march to the left; but before I gave this command the extreme left of the battalion had commenced that movement under the order of a field officer, believed to be either General Garnett or Colonel Grigsby, who addressed the order directly to the men and not through the medium of the officers.
Owing to this fact the left wing of the battalion and a part of the right wing was separated from the remainder of the battalion and some confusion ensued, and a part of the right wing of the battalion, comprising Captain Thom's company (C) and a part of Captain Jones' company (E), not hearing the order, proceeded to the right, while the rest of the battalion marched to the left. After this separation I saw no more of Captains Thom and Jones and the men under their command during the action. The rest of the battalion was assigned a position in an open field just behind the crest of the ridge occupied by our line and next to the regiment on the extreme left of our line, believed to be Colonel Echols'. This position was directly opposite the enemy's line, at a range of not more than 20 yards.
We immediately took part in the action. The firing was general and continuous along both lines. The ground we occupied was soon dotted with dead and wounded men. The fire of the enemy was exceedingly severe.
The colors of the battalion were planted on the crest of the ridge by Color-Sergeant Kenney, under the guidance of Captain Leigh, of Company A. This officer acted with the most conspicuous gallantry during the whole of the action. He took a most exposed position by the side of the colors, and never left it except to bring up his men to the crest of the ridge and point out to them where to aim their fire. He was perfectly cool and collected, and encouraged his men to fight bravely and effectively by example and direction.
Shortly after the firing commenced on our part Second Lieutenant John Heth, commanding Company D, fell near the colors, pierced by a ball through the body, while gallantly directing the fire of his men.
First Lieutenant John A. Turner, commanding Company B, who insisted upon taking part in the operations of the day, notwithstanding the fact that he was quite ill and feeble, behaved in an exceedingly gallant manner. Second Lieutenant Overton, of Company A, behaved with great gallantry, exerting himself to make the men move forward to the crest of the ridge and deliver their fire effectively. Second Lieutenant Coltram attracted my attention by similar conduct.
Acting Sergeant-Major Duggan fell in advance of the colors with a ghastly wound in his face while in the act of taking aim at the enemy.
The men, especially the non-commissioned officers, acted with great courage.