both shell and solid shot to be fired. For some time previous the enemy had been firing upon 12 to 18 pounders, some of immense caliber. Owing to a range of hills on the White Hall side the enemy had the advance of position. The point occupied by his troops being narrow, not more than one regiment at a time could advantageously engage him. I therefore held Leventhorpe, Ferebee, and Evans in reserve, leaving the artillery, Thirty-first Regiment, and two picket companies in front. The cannonading from the enemy's batteries became so terrific that the Thirty-first Regiment withdrew from their position without instructions but in good order. I immediately ordered Colonel Leventhorpe forward. The alacrity with which the order was obeyed by his men gave ample proof of their gallant bearing, which they so nobly sustained during the entire fight, which raged with intensity for several hours after they became engaged. No veteran soldiers ever fought better or inflicted more terrible loss upon an enemy considering the numbers engaged. It was with difficulty they could be withdrawn from the field. Three times did they drive the Yankee cannoneers from their guns and as often prevent their infantry regiments from forming line in their front. In spite of the four hostile regiments whose standards waved from the opposite bank did these brave men continue to hold their ground, and finally drove the enemy in confusion from the field. More than 100 of their dead and wounded were left upon the river bank. The conduct of this regiment reflects the greatest credit upon its accomplished and dauntless commander.
Colonel Ferebee, of the Fifty-ninth Regiment, displayed the most signal coolness and courage. For several hours, with 18 men of the picket guard belonging to the Eleventh Regiment, he fought the enemy at close quarters, notwithstanding his own command was not in action.
The Fifty-ninth and Sixty-third Regiments, although in reserve, were nevertheless exposed to a galling fire from the enemy's artillery. A few were killed and a number wounded. Both officers and men behaved admirably.
The section of artillery was remarkably well served, Lieutenant McClees and his men remaining cool and collected.
My thanks are especially due to Major George Jackson, Captain Charles H. Gordon, and Lieutenant Worthington, members of my staff, for their efficient services and their prompt delivery of orders under the heaviest fire.
The soldierly qualities displayed by Colonel Leventhorpe on the march and during the action, to which I can bear witness, strongly recommend him to the favorable consideration of the authorities.
About 70 stand of arms and a quantity of clothing were collected form the battle-field.
I regret having to report the death of Lieutenant [W. N. M.] Means, Company E, Eleventh Regiment North Carolina Troops, and also First Sergeant Bristol, Company B, of the same regiment. They both fell like brave men in the faithful performance of their duty.
The loss of the enemy, though not accurately ascertained, is known to have been very heavy.
I herewith inclose a list* of killed and wounded on our side.
Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,
B. H. ROBERTSON,
Captain A. L. EVANS,
Asst. Adjt. General, Hdqrs. Evans' Brigade, in the Field.
*Nominal lists shows 10 killed and 42 wounded.