in position in front of the Fourth Brigade and just above the village of Groveton, and firing over the heads of the skirmishers, poured a most destructive shower of shot and shell upon the enemy. This was responded to by a most severe fire, and a new position was selected to the right of the First Brigade, which enfiladed the enemy's guns and ultimately drove them from the field.
At this time our lines were advanced from the woods in which they had been concealed to the open field. The troops moved forward with splendid gallantry and in most perfect order. Twice our lines were advanced until we had reached a farm-house and orchard on the right of our line and were within about 80 yards of a greatly superior force of the enemy. Here one of the most terrific conflicts that can be conceived of occurred. Our troops held the farm-house and one edge of the orchard, while the enemy held the orchard and inclosure next to the turnpike. To our left there was no cover, and our men stood in the open field without shelter of any kind. The enemy, although re-enforced, never once attempted to advance upon our position, but withstood with great determination the terrible fire which our lines poured upon them. For two hours and a half, without an instant's cessation of the most deadly discharges of musketry, round shot, and shell, both lines stood unmoved, neither advancing and neither broken nor yielding, until at last, about 9 o'clock at night, the enemy slowly and sullenly fell back and yielded the field to our victorious troops.
The loss on both sides was very heavy, but the proportion of killed to wounded of our men was, as far as I could judge upon the field, small and the wounds generally slight. The commanding general has been, I presume, furnished with an official report of the killed and wounded.
The gallantry and heroism displayed by our troops is beyond all praise. The First Brigade was more exposed than any other, and more than sustained the reputation which, under the leadership of the major-general commanding on the same field over twelve months ago, it achieved, and which has distinguished its veteran troops in many of the headrest-fought battles of the war. Colonel [W. S. H.] Baylor [Fifth Virginia], who commanded it, was worthy of his heroic command. No more exalted recognition of his worth and services can be uttered and no higher tribute can be paid him than to declare than to declare that he was worthy of the command of the Stonewall Brigade in the action of the 28th ultimo.
Colonel [John F.] Neff, Thirty-third Virginia, while gallantly leading his regiment into action, was killed; Colonel [A. J.] Grigsby, Twenty-seventh Virginia, wounded; Colonel [Lawson] Botts, Second Virginia, mortally wounded; Major Nadenbousch, Second Virginia, Major [William] Terry, Fourth [Virginia], wounded, and others whose names and whose gallantry have been doubtless reported to the commanding general.
The Second Brigade, Colonel Bradley [T.] Johnson, which had been subjected to severe picket duty the night previous and on the morning of this day, and behaved with gallantry in the skirmishes of the morning, was not brought into action.
The Third Brigade, commanded by Colonel A. G. Taliaferro, Twenty-third Virginia Regiment, advanced splendidly under fire of the enemy; occupied the farm-housed and orchards on the right of our lines; held these against every effort of the enemy to dislodge them, and ultimately drove the enemy from the orchard and field beyond the turnpike. It is unnecessary to report that the gallantry of Colonel Taliaferro was conspicuous and the conduct of his officers admirable. Lieutenant-
42 R R-VOL XII, PT II