by me, as senior colonel, and the other commanded by Colonel Conner, of the Twelfth Georgia Regiment. (See appendix).
I need say nothing of the junction of this little army with General T. J. Jackson's; of the driving in of the enemy's pickets at Mason's shanties; of the stampede of the enemy at Shenandoah Mountain and at Shaw's Fort, and of the final stand made by them on their main body at McDowell.
The turnpike road, as it approaches McDowell from the east, runs through a narrow gorge of the mountains about a mile before it reaches that town.
On May 8 last our army arrived within about 1 1/2 or 2 miles of that town and halted in the turnpike road, General Johnson's two brigades, marching as brigades, in the advance. Generals Jackson and Johnson went forward to reconnoiter. In the afternoon General Johnson's two brigades, and perhaps others, were ordered forward. After proceeding along the turnpike a few hundred yards we were led to the left, through a skirt of woods about half a mile in width, to an open field on a high hill, which overlooked the town of McDowell.
I understood that we were to hold that until the next morning, and that in the mean time we would cut a road through the woods, by which we would carry artillery on the hill, with which we were to attack the enemy's camp and defenses. On the top of that hill there was a crest or ridge, running from north to south, except about midway, where the ground was not above the ordinary level of the hill. On this crest General Johnson placed the brigade commanded by me, consisting of the Fifty-eighth, Forty-fourth, and Fifty-second Virginia Regiments, facing it west.
As the enemy were firing shells, at us, he placed the men of this brigade in pairs, with intervals between the pairs of about five paces, and caused the men to lie down. In consequence of this disposition my men occupied the whole length, or nearly the whole length, of the crest of the hill in the open field, including the depressed part in the middle. From the right of this crest the ground abruptly descended, and this abrupt descent extend, on a line nearly at right angles to the crest or ridge from its northern termination, back to the woods, some hundred yards to our rear.
The Fifty-eighth Regiment occupied the northern portion of the crest and constituted my right flank; the Forty-fourth occupied the depressed ground and constituted my center, and the Fifty-second occupied the left of the ridge and constituted my left flank.
Shortly after my men were placed in position in pairs, as aforesaid, a regiment of the enemy appeared opposite my left flank, but after remaining there a short time retired to a woods which faced my center and right flank.
After remaining in the woods a short time one or two regiments emerged from them and approached a bluff, which extended from my right flank to the point about-yards, with the evident intention of shielding themselves behind that bluff. I immediately endeavor to close my regiments to the right. The enemy sent forward a company of skirmishers and I sent forward two to meet them, but on the first fire our skirmishers returned to their regiments. The fire on my right flank, consisting mainly of the Fifty-eighth Regiment, and on a part of my center (the Forty-fourth) then became fast and furious, and was returned by us with equal spirit. I then withdrew the Forty-fourth Regiment from its position on the level or depressed ground in the center and placed it some thirty paces in rear of the Fifty-eight, and caused