and inclining toward Manassas Junction, my command was advanced through the woods, leaving Groveton on the left, until it reached a commanding position near Brawner's house. By this time it was sunset; but as his column appeared to be moving by, with its flank exposed, I determined to attack at once, which was vigorously done by the division of Taliaferro and Ewell. The batteries of Wooding, Poague, and Carpenter were placed in position in front of Starke's brigade and above the village of Groveton, and, firing over the heads of our skirmishers, poured a heavy fire of shot and shell upon the enemy. This was responded to by a very heavy fire from the enemy, forcing our batteries to select another position. By this time Taliaferro's command, with Lawton's and Trimble's brigades on his left, was advanced from the woods to the open field, and was now moving in gallant style until it reached an orchard on the right of our line and was less that 100 yards from a large force of the enemy. the conflict here was fierce and sanguinary. Although largely re-enforced, the Federals did not attempt to advance, but maintained their ground with obstinate determination.
Both line stood exposed to the discharges of musketry and artillery until about 9 o'clock, when the enemy slowly fell back, yielding the field to our troops.
The loss on both sides was heavy, and among our wounded were Major-General Ewell and Brigadier-General Taliaferro. The latter after a few months was able to resume his duties; the former, I regret to say, is still disabled by his wound, and the army thus deprived of his valuable services.
This obstinate resistance of the enemy appears to have been for the purpose of protecting the flank of his column until it should pass the position occupied by our troops. Owing to the difficulty of getting artillery through the woods I did not have as much of that arm as I desired at the opening of the engagement; but this want was met by Major Pelham, whit the Stuart Horse Artillery, who dashed forward on my right and opened upon the enemy at a moment when his services were much needed.
Although the enemy moved off under cover of the night and left us in quiet possession of the field, he did not long permit us to remain inactive of in doubt as to his intention to renew the conflict.
The next morning (29th) I found that he had abandoned the ground occupied as the battle-field, he evening before and had move farther to the east and to my left, placing himself between my command and the Federal capital. My troops on this day were distributed along and in the vicinity of the cut of an unfinished railroad (intended as a part of the track to connect the Manassas road directly with Alexandria), stretching from the Warrenton turnpike in the direction of Sudley's Mill. It was mainly along the excavation of this unfinished road that my line of battle was formed on the 29th - Jackson's division, under Brigadier-General Starke, on the right, Ewell's division, under Brigadier-General Lawton, in the center, and Hill's division of the left.
In the morning, about 10 o'clock, the Federal artillery opened with spirit and animation upon our right, which was soon replied to by the batteries of Poague, carpenter, dement, Brockenbrough, and Latimer, under Major [L. M.] Shumaker. This lasted for some time, when the enemy moved around more to our left to another point of attack. His next effort was directed against our left. This was vigorously repulsed by the batteries of Braxton, Crenshaw, and Pegram.
About 2 p. m. the Federal infantry in large force advanced to the attack of our left, occupied by the division of General Hill. It pressed