force of the enemy many times our numbers. When this unequal contest had lasted over an hour, I discovered that the Federals had turned our extreme right, which began to give way, and a number of the Yankee flags appeared on the hill in rear of the town and not far from our only avenue of escape. I ordered the brigade to fall back, deeming it in imminent danger of being surrounded and captured, as it would have been impossible for it top have held its position without the support of the troops on the right. There being some delay in withdrawing Moody's section of artillery, I take pleasure in saying I saw Major Cabell halt and face his men about, to await its removal, as mentioned in his official report.
The main street of the town was commanded by the Federal artillery. My troops, therefore, passed, for the most part, to the north of the town along the cross-streets. In this direction I found troops scattered in squads from various parts of the army, so that it was impossible to distinguish men of the different commands. Having reached the rear of the town, and learning that General Toombs had re-enforced our right just after it was driven back, and restored the fortunes of the day in that quarter, I gathered as many men as I could get to follow men from among the dispersed force (which did not amount to a large number, as many said they were looking for proper commands), and, accompanied by Captain William N. Berkeley, of the Eighth Virginia Regiment, and Lieutenants McIntire and Sorrel, of my staff, I joined General Drayton's command south of the village. I found, on my arrival, that the enemy had been successfully repulsed, only a few skirmishers remaining in sight, which were being driven back by our troops of the same description.
The conduct of the brigade during this most trying day, under destructive fires from artillery and musketry, is deserving of the highest commendation, officers and men generally acting with the utmost bravery and coolness. The names of those particularly mentioned by regimental commanders will be found in their reports, herewith furnished.
My staff-Lieutenants McIntire, Johnston (who was wounded in the foot shortly after the infantry engagement commenced, and in consequence of which lost his leg), and Sorrel-are entitled to my thanks for meritorious and gallant services during the day.
I feel it a duty, and grateful to my feelings, again to recur to the part taken by Captain Moody's section of artillery. It is partly due to the brave and energetic manner with which it was handled that the infantry were enabled to hold their position, and it is, therefore, entitled to a full share of the credit for whatever success attended our efforts on that part of the field. Colonel Lee, at times during the action, personally assisted at his pieces. His bravery and intrepidity at the battle of Sharpsburg should add fresh fame to the high reputation he has already won.
In this battle, as in former ones, we are called on to deplore the loss of many brave spirits, who have sealed their devotion to the Southern cause with their life's blood. May their memories ever be enshrined in the hearts of their countrymen!
This report has been delayed for the reasons assigned in my report of the battle of Boonsborough. A list* of killed, wounded, &c., is herewith furnished as far as could be obtained.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. B. GARNETT,
Major A. COWARD,
Assistant Adjutant-General to Brigadier General D. R. Jones.
*Not found, but see Numbers 205.
57 R R-VOL XIX, PT I