deployed as skirmishers upon the right and advanced as such until recalled by order. I then formed the battalion in the road, and advanced by the right flank in the direction of Fayetteville until again deployed as skirmishers upon the right, by your orders. I then advanced, skirmishing, until I came within about 300 yards of the enemy's works. Here I stationed my men under cover of the woods until I received your order, communicated by Captain Peyton, of your staff, requiring me to withdraw the battalion to my former position in the road, reform, and report to you on the second ridge in front of the enemy's position. This order I obeyed immediately upon its reception. You then ordered me to place the battalion in position on the second hill, and prepare for a charge to take possession of the first hill in front of the enemy's first redoubt, and there remain as a support for the artillery. This order was obeyed, and the charge made in open ground under your immediate observation, and you are the best judge of the manner in which it was executed. The conduct of Captain E. S. Read in this charge and his gallantry throughout the day deserves special mention and commendation.
Our last position placed us within convenient of the enemy's guns, both large and small, and there we remained until nightfall, exposed to a galling fire of shell, shot, and Minie-ball. I then withdrew, by your order, to the foot of the hill in our rear, and ordered my men to rest upon their arms until morning.
In this day's engagement I lost 2 brave soldiers - William F. Level and Robert S. Paxton, of Company B - killed on the field, and 8 wounded, 1 mortally. This loss I sustained in my charge and subsequent position on the hill.
About one hour before day, we were aroused by the firing of our skirmishers, who had discovered the evacuation of the forts by the enemy and their retreat. When the firing commenced, I formed the battalion and moved, by your order, in immediate pursuit, and was in supporting distance of the Forty-fifth Virginia Regiment during their engagement upon Cotton Hill, though not actually engaged. That night we encamped upon the banks of the Great Kanawha.
The pursuit was resumed early on the morning of the 12th, and, by your order, my command took the lead. I then forwarded all the longragne guns of the battalion as an advance, and these were afterward strengthened by a company of sharpshooters from the Fifty-first Regiment, under command of Captain [D. P.] Graham. During this day's pursuit, my command performed the arduous task of removing the blockades of the enemy. About 6 o'clock in the evening our advance captured two of the enemy's pickets, and I encamped the battalion on the ground they had occupied.
In the next day's march the Forty-fifth Virginia Regiment was in advance, and the battalion next in pursuit.
During the engagement at Charleston the battalion was held as a support of the artillery upon the south bank of the Kanawha, but was not actively engaged.
The battalion acted well its part upon the march, and in the field, but to you, general, I accord the praise, for your undaunted courage and untiring energy inspired not only the battalion but the whole command with an enthusiasm irresistible.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
A. M. DAVIS,
Major, Commanding Battalion.
Brigadier General JOHN S. WILLIAMS,
Commanding Second Brigade, Army of the Western Virginia.