the brigade had devolved upon me. I felt all the embarrassment which this situation was calculated to inspire. The brigade numbered scarce 1,000 men. I was satisfied that the enemy, largely superior in numbers and having the advantage of position, was immediately in our front and on the right, and was preparing a heavy movement against us. Previous to this time the Twenty-third north Carolina had been advanced into the field in front of the ridge road, under cover of some piles of stone which afforded shelter to his men, and from this point they had been, with great coolness, pouring a constant and destructive fire into the enemy as they attempted to pass from the woods into the ravines or to advance upon our position. It was by the fire of this regiment that General Reno was killed and a portion of his staff wounded, the fact having been reported to me at the time of its occurrence. Most gallantly for an hour and a half did this regiment, from this advanced position, harass the enemy and retard his movements. The Twelfth North Carolina had been ordered forward to the support of the Fifth, but a large portion of this regiment, led by its captain commanding, had fled the field early in the fight, and he has not since reported for duty, that I am aware of. By this time the Thirteenth and Twentieth had been ordered up from the left, and both had engaged the enemy from their respective positions. As the operations of the Thirteenth were conducted altogether beyond my observation, I forward herewith the report of Lieutenant-Colonel Ruffin, setting forth its action.
As soon as I saw the condition of things, I dispatched Captain Halsey, General Garland's assistant adjutant-general, to Major-General Hill, with instructions to state to him that the force at my command was wholly inadequate to maintain the position, and very so thereafter Colonel C. C. Tew, of Brigadier General George B. Anderson's brigade, reported to me with two regiments. Though ranking me, this officer declined to take the command; but, concurring with me as to the extreme danger which menaced us, he offered to make such disposition of his forces as I would suggest. At my request, he was about to take position on the left of the Thirteenth, connecting with it and prolonging our lines in that direction; while we were making these arrangements, Colonel Tew received sent Captain Wood, of General Garland's staff, to communicate this fact to General Hill, to explain to him my situation, and to request re-enforcements, and, in anticipation of their arrival, I ordered Colonel Ruffin to move to the left, and keep his connection with Colonel Tew. I then hastened to the right, intending, if time allowed, to move the Fifth North Carolina to the left and fill with it the space vacant in the line, but I found that, under my previous order, this regiment had already been advanced into the field on the right of the Twenty-third, and it was dangerous to withdraw it.
During this time the situation of affairs had not been quiet. The enemy had planted a battery immediately in front of the twentieth North Carolina, and had opened a fierce fire, when Colonel Iverson dispatch a company under Captain Atwell (a brave officer, who afterward received a mortal wound at Sharpsburg) to flank this battery. This was executed in gallant style. The gunners were destroyed, and there is but little doubt that this battery of four pieces was for the day abandoned. Unfortunately, the smallness of our numbers did not allow us to push this advantage by a charge upon the enemy's line. The object of the enemy was now clearly ascertained and reported to me bey Colonel Iverson and others, confirming my own observations, and this object was hastened to completion. The position now stood thus: The Fifth,
66 R R-VOL XIX, PT I