idly retired, having lost several horses by our fire. Five minutes' gain in time would have captured the guns. This was lost by the Mississippi regiment in misconstruing my orders.
Another brigade of the enemy supporting the battery 200 yards to its left, our right advanced into the open ground, and at the time the [Fifteenth] Alabama and the Thirteenth and Twenty-fifth Virginia reached their position this force was driven back by their united action and retired with the battery. After some minutes' brisk fire by the enemy's sharpshooters their entire left wing retreated to their first position, near Union Church, on the Keezletown road.
At this time General Taylor, with his brigade, joined me. He had previously been ordered to my support, and I had directed him to march up in the open ground between the woods, but he passed too far to the right, and lost time by falling in behind the Thirteenth and Twenty-fifth Virginia Regiments. I called General Taylor to an interview on an eminence in view of the enemy, then a mile distant, where a battery with an infantry force-of what strength we could not discern-was in sight. I proposed to move forward and renew the fight. General Taylor's reply was that we could soon wipe out that force if it would do any good, but proposed to return his brigade to camp, as he had that morning marched rapidly to Port Republic and returned, and his men needed rest and food. I replied that we had better attack the enemy; but as he did not agree with me, and as I at that time understood that he was sent to aid me in the contest, which was then ended, I did not insist on his remaining. He left me about 4 p. m. I then disposed the three regiments in the woods in regular order about one half mile distant from the enemy, with skirmishers in front and on the flanks, sending word to General Ewell that the enemy had been repulsed on our right, and that I awaited orders.
About half an hour after General Taylor left Major Barbour came to me with orders from General Ewell to "move to the front," and that a force would be sent forward on the enemy's right to make a combined attack before night. It was too late to recall General Taylor. I moved through the woods and halted in line 500 yards from the enemy's front (disposed along the Keezletown road), prepared to attack him as soon as I could hear from their fire that our force on his flank was engaged. I waited half an hour without any intimation of this attack, and sent a courier to General Ewell to say I awaited the movement on our left. Half an hour afterward I sent another courier with the same message, and soon after Lieutenant Lee, of my staff, to say that if the attack was made on their flank, to divert their attention from my movement, I thought I could overpower the enemy in front, but that it would be injudicious to do so alone, as I could plainly see three batteries of the enemy, all able to bear on our force, as we should advance across the open fields, and (what I estimated at) five brigades of infantry. I waited in suspense until after dark, saw the enemy go into camp, light their fires, draw rations, and otherwise dispose themselves for the night, evidently not expecting any further attack. I then sought General Ewell to recommend a night attack, and found he had gone to report to General Jackson. Before leaving I was strongly tempted to make the advance alone at night, and should have done so had I not felt it a duty to secure complete success by waiting for the combined attack before alluded to, and having some scruples in regard to a possible failure, if acting alone, which might have thwarted the plans of the commanding genera, whose success the day after would be seriously jeopardized by even a partial reverse after the fortunate