fire from front and flank, the First Virginia Battalion gave way in confusion, and rendered abortive every effort of its corps of gallant officers to reform it. Finding our left turned, I rode up to Major Lane, commanding the Forty-second, and ordered a change of front to meet the enemy in this new direction; but before this could be executed he fell mortally wounded, and the movement could not be accomplished before the enemy had commenced a fire in their rear, producing some confusion and disorder. The other regiments, all the while engaged in front, were also attacked in rear, now that the left flank was turned, producing much disorder in their ranks. In this double fire, front and rear, fell the gallant officers, Lieutenant-Colonel Cunningham, Major Lane, and Captain Deyerle. Re-enforcements coming up, portions of different regiments were reformed, and assisted in driving the enemy discomfited from the field.
The terrible loss in this brigade resulted from its left flank being turned, thereby subjecting it to a double fire. Had re-enforcements, momentarily expected, arrived ten minutes sooner no disaster would have happened. The long list of killed and wounded officers* accompanying this report is the best evidence of their courage and fidelity in the discharge of duty.
Lieutenant-Colonel Cunningham, as all who knew him expected, behaved with distinguished bravery and coolness. His place is not easily filled. The same may be said of Major Lane, Major Seddon, and Captain Hannum, commanding regiments, and of the officers attached to their commands.
It would be improper to close this report without calling the attention of the general to the acts of savage brutality perpetrated by the enemy upon our officers and men who fell into their hands temporarily as prisoners. Such fiendish barbarity is not to be found in the history of warfare among civilized nations.
To the members of my staff all praise is due for their bravery and efficiency in the discharge of every duty. They consisted of Captain Wilson, assistant adjutant-general; Lieutenant Dabney, aide-de-camp, and Lieutenant White, First Virginia Battalion, acting aide-de-camp.
For further particulars the general is referred to reports from regimental commanders, herewith inclosed.
THOS. S. GARNETT,
Lieutenant Colonel, Commanding Second Brigadier, First Div., A. V. D.
Major W. T. TALIAFERRO, Asst. Adjt. General, First Division.
Numbers 38. Report of Captain W. A. Witcher, Twenty-first Virginia Infantry.
CAMP NEAR GORDONSVILLE, VA.,
August 13, 1862.
SIR: In obedience to order I offer the following report of the Twenty-first Virginia Regiment in the battle of Slaughter Mountain on the 9th after the fight had considerably advanced:
The regiment was posted in line of battle in the woods about 40 paces back of the road to the left of the battery in the field and facing to the
*Embodied in Numbers 27.