their ground, but we were within good range across an open field, and the execution we were doing, clearly perceptible to the eye, compelled them to commence breaking. Now it was that their cavalry attempted to charge upon General Taliaferro's brigade, which had partially rallied after I had cleared their flank. The cavalry moved diagonally across my front, presenting to me their flank. The combined fire of Taliaferro's brigade (in front) and mine (in flank) broke up the column and sent it fleeing to the rear. My brigade immediately moved forward in pursuit of the retreating enemy, and while I was hesitating in the field, in doubt what direction I should take, Major-General Jackson came up, and by his order I changed front so as to incline to the right, and pushed on to a point some distance in advance of the battle-field, at which he had ordered me to halt. The battle having terminated in a complete rout of the enemy, my men slept on the ground they had so bravely won.
My officers and men behaved finely, and I refrain from discriminations. Such was their steadiness that I was able to preserve my line of battle unbroken throughout the day.
Captain F. T. Hawks and Lieutenant J. A. Bryan, of my staff, were with me and conducted themselves gallantly.
Your obedient servant,
L. O'B. BRANCH,
Major R. C. MORGAN,
Extract from General Branch's journal, covering period August 6-13.
AUGUST 13, 1862.
I am now, with my brigade and the balance of A. P. Hill's division, encamped 5 1/2 miles from Gordonsville, on the road leading to
Orange Court-House. We reached here last night. I will give you a brief journal of our movements since I wrote:
On Wednesday (6th) we left the camp on the other side of Gordonsville and marched until 9 o'clock at night, when we went to sleep in a field on the ground. We travel without any baggage with us.
Thursday we marched through plantations and by- roads and slept in a field, which we reached about 12 o'clock at night, near Orange Court-House.
Friday we passed through Orange Court-House and stopped within 2 miles of it on the Rapidan to wait for the commissary wagons to bring up something to eat.
Saturday morning at 1 o'clock we were roused by picket-firing in front and the brigade was immediately under arms. In a few minutes I received and order to march forward. Continued the march [without] stopping until about 2 o'clock in the evening, when our advance came up with the enemy, posted and ready to give us battle. General Jackson was present in person to command on our side. General Ewell was ordered to take possession of a mountain on our right.
General Jackson's own division, commanded by General Winder, was on the left. General Hill's division was placed behind General Jackson's to support it. The battle commenced and raged for a short time, when General Jackson came to me and told me his left was beaten and broken, and