War of the Rebellion: Serial 016 Page 0715 Chapter XXIV. CAMPAIGN IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA.

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ment I heard a very considerable musketry fire, but as the woods were very thick and it was raining hard at the time, I could see a very short distance, and took it for granted that the firing proceeded from the troops in front of me. On reaching the position General Starke wished me to occupy I found that three of my regiments (the Thirteenth, Twenty-fifth, and Thirty-first Virginia Regiments) had not followed the rest of the brigade, and I immediately sent my aide, Lieutenant [S. H.] Early, to see what was the cause of it. He found these regiments engaged with the enemy in their front, Hays' brigade, under Colonel [H. B.] Strong, of the Sixth Louisiana Regiment, having fallen back in confusion and passed through these regiments, followed by the enemy, just as my orders were being carried out. This affair could not be seen by me from the flank on which I was, and the regiments engaged in it were very properly detained by their commanding officers. I immediately marched back the rest of the brigade, and found that the enemy had been successfully repulsed by my three regiments.

It is due to Hays' brigade to state that the confusion into which it was thrown was caused by an attempt of the officer in command, Colonel Strong, to change its position when the enemy were advancing, and that his want of sufficient skill in the command of a brigade caused him to get it confused, so that it could present no front, and it had therefore to fall back. The Eighth Louisiana Regiment, commanded by Major Lewis, fell back in better order than the rest of the brigade, and formed in line immediately in rear of my regiments. The rest of the brigade was soon rallied and brought back, and having been placed under my command by General Lawton, it was placed in line on the left of my brigade. General Jackson's division, under General Starke, having been withdrawn a short time after the above-named affair and moved to the rear, Hays' brigade and my own thus covered the same front that had been covered by Jackson's division and that brigade, with, however, a contracted line.

About the time Hays' brigade fell back Captain Brown, of the Twelfth Georgia, commanding Trimble's brigade, was killed, and one or two regiments of it were thrown into some confusion, but the brigade held its position.

Lawton's brigade was not engaged; and I am unable to give the particulars of the part taken by Trimble's brigade. After the enemy had retired, Trimble's brigade having been withdrawn to the line occupied by the division, the whole lay on their arms during the night in the wet woods without fires.

The next day my brigade was advanced to the front and formed in line a quarter of a mile in front of its position of the day before, Hays' being posted on the left flank at right angles to it. The rest of the division remained in its former position, and Colonel Walker, of the Thirteenth Virginia Regiment, was assigned to the command of Trimble's brigade.*

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I hope I may be excused for referring to the record shown by my own brigade, which has never been broken or compelled to fall back or left one of its dead to be buried by the enemy, but has invariably driven the enemy when opposed to him and slept upon the ground on which it has fought in every action, with the solitary exception of the affair

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* For portion of report here omitted, see Series I, Vol. XIX, Part I, pp. 965 - 973.

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