War of the Rebellion: Serial 016 Page 0685 Chapter XXIV. CAMPAIGN IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA.

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tions and movements of the regiment prior to its actual engagement with the enemy on the morning of the 29th. I will commence, therefore, with the halt of the brigade near the position held by us during that day.

On approaching this spot, at about 7 o'clock in the morning, the brigade then being in the following order-the Twelfth, Thirteenth, First, Fitst Rifles, and Fourteenth-by General Gregg's order was halted, and I was directed to detail a company to act, with others from other regiments of the brigade, as skirmishers to cover our front and flank. Captain [William T.] Haskell, company H, was detailed for this purpose, and reported to Lieutenant L. C. Haskell, of General Gregg's staff. Shortly after the skirmishers had been deployed, by General Gregg's order I marched the regiment to the front, and was placed in position by General Gregg 60 yards behind and parallel with the cut of the projected Independent Railroad from Hainesville to Alexandria. At this point, the ground rising to some extent, the grade, of the road immediately in our front rendered the depth of the cut about 6 feet; but the ground sloping to our right and left, reduced this depth to about 1 or 2 feet upon our flanks. The ground upon our side of the cut, upon which our line was formed, was almost entirely bare, while that on the other side was covered with quite a thick growth of brush. On our right, too, this growth of brush extended to about 50 yards of our flank, while on our left, at about the same distance, was a field inclosed by a worm fence. The portion of this field nearest our position was open, but the other side was covered with a thick growth of corn. Soon after assuming this position, by General Gregg's directions I moved the regiment across the cut, crossing by one rank at a time, and gaining the other side, met Lieutenant Fellers, of the Fourteenth [Thirteenth], who was to direct us to the ground in which General Gregg informed me the enemy had taken position. General Gregg's instructions to me were, upon coming up with them, to give them two or three volleys and then to charge them with the bayonet. Meeting Lieutenant Fellers, I had to change front to the left, and then advanced in line to the point directed by him. Our advance soon drew upon us the fire of the enemy, who were posted in a hollow. The ground through which we were advancing was quite thickly wooded and covered with underbrush, rendering it difficult to see more than a very few yards in our front. Here, too, it sloped both to our front and flanks, and in the hollow at the bottom of the slope lay the enemy awaiting our approach. From this hollow they opened fire upon us as soon as we were in range. This fire was returned, as you directed; but endeavoring to move forward to the charge I found the enemy were in force upon our left, from which they opened on our left and rear. Finding, therefore, that it would be impossible to dislodge them by ourselves, I sent a messenger telling General Gregg of their position upon our left. This messenger gad scarcely gone when a fire was opened upon us also from our right and rear. We thus were exposed to fires from our front and both flanks, and so completely were we flanked that the rear of our wings was also exposed. Finding the enemy in such force, I then sent Captain Shooter to explain our position to General Gregg and ask for re-enforcements, saying at the same time that we would endeavor to hold our position until they should arrive. Soon after Captain Shooter had gone, however, the fire became so heave that I determined to fall back some distance in order to withdraw from the exposure of my flanks and rear. My order to this effect, I regret to say, was executed with considerable confusion; but Captain [M. P.] Parker and Lieutenant [James] Armstrong soon succeeded in rallying Company K (the color company) around the colors,