War of the Rebellion: Serial 016 Page 0713 Chapter XXIV. CAMPAIGN IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA.

Search Civil War Official Records

the left of me; but for some purpose whatever force was there had been drawn, and I thus found myself in this position. I soon discovered that the enemy's skirmishers were crossing the railroad to my left and advancing through a corn field, and I immediately sent word to General Hill of the state of things, and after some delay some brigades were sent to occupy positions to my left.

During the course of the morning the skirmishers from my brigade, which were under command of Captain [R. D.] Lilley, of the Twenty-fifth Virginia Regiment, repulsed a column of the enemy which commenced to advance, and a short time afterward an arrangement was made so as to place General Hill's troops on the left, this division in the center, and Jackson's division on the right. In making this arrangement there was room left in the front line for only three of the regiments of my brigade, and I left the Forty-fourth, Forty-ninth, and Fifty-second in position under Colonel Smith, of the Forty-ninth, and withdrew the Thirteenth, Twenty-fifth, Thirty-first, and Fifty-eighth Virginia Regiments a short distance to the rear. The position of the brigades of the division under this disposition was as follows: On the right was Trimble's brigade, under Captain Brown; on the left of Trimble's was Lawton's brigade, under Colonel Douglass, and on his left the three regiments of my brigade, under Colonel Smith, the whole occupying the line of the railroad. Hays' brigade had gone to the rear to get ammunition, and did not return.

In the afternoon, when the enemy made his determined attack on the line of the railroad beginning on the right, Trimble's brigade by a cross-fire aided in repulsing the column that advanced against Starke's brigade. Another column advanced in front of the three regiments of my brigade and was repulsed by their fire and that from Lawton's brigade. The attack seemed to be general along the whole line and the fire ran from right to left. As the enemy retired the three regiments of my brigade dashed across the road in pursuit, very unexpectedly to me, as I had given express orders for them not to advance until ordered to do so, and I immediately moved up the regiments that were in rear to fill up the gap that was thus left. The other regiments were, however, soon brought back by Colonel Smith.

Late in the afternoon, after General Longstreet had made his advance and but a short time before night, General Lawton received an order to advance to the front, and Trimble's, his own, and my brigades were ordered forward and commenced advancing. My own brigade advanced through the woods until it reached a field in front, and I halted here a moment for General Lawton and the rest of the division to come up, as I was a little in advance, but General Jackson soon rode up and ordered me to move by the left flank, as it was reported that a body of the enemy was moving to our left. I immediately did so, sending in front skirmishers under [Lieutenant] Colonel James B. Terrill, of Thirteenth Virginia Regiment, and continued to move on until I came to the railroad, and then along that until I came to a field. It was then getting dark, and as soon as my skirmishers entered the field they were fired upon from a hill to my left. This was very unexpected, and I immediately sent back to General Jackson to let him know the fact, as it would have been folly for me to advance if this fire was from the enemy in the direction I was going. A message was soon received directing me to send and ascertain from whom the fire came, and stating that it was probably from some of General Hill's troops. It was impossible to distinguish uniforms or colors at a distance when this firing took place, and the only chance of ascertaining from whence it came being