War of the Rebellion: Serial 028 Page 0146 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXI.

Search Civil War Official Records

Hampton in person to move the remainder of the command (four squadrons, 275 men) up to support the Cobb Legion, which was near the battery, three-fourths of a mile distant, but to place the regiment in such position as not to be seen by the enemy, and so as to be protected from their artillery. In moving up the road toward the point designated (half a mile), I saw the enemy in a large body on my left, on the opposite side of the field, some 600 yards across. I discovered that I could be flanked and cut off in moving farther up. I therefore moved in the direction of the enemy, placing the command in a depression in the field, which protected us from their sharpshooters and artillery. The enemy, discovering a portion of the men, sent out some mounted skirmishers, who commenced firing at the column. I dismounted a few men and placed them on the crest of the fill in front, where they soon drove beck the enemy's skirmishers. I sent a courier to General Hampton, reporting the position of the enemy. As he came up, a squadron of Yankee cavalry dashed up along a stone fence in front. I asked him if I should charge them, stating to him at the same time that there was a large body of the enemy upon my right, behind a stone fence, and that they had sharpshooters also posted there. He replied no, there was no stone fence there; that he had been there during the morning, and that it was open. He then ordered me to charge, the regiment being in a column of squadrons. I asked him if I should charge in squadron form. He replied yes, and that he would support me with the Second South Carolina Regiment. I ordered the charge. The men moved out promptly, going rapidly at the men we could see. The enemy fled rapidly as soon as they discovered that we were charging them, passing through a narrow opening in the stone fence and going over a hill in rear. As we got near the fence we encountered a broad ditch, concealed by grass and weeds, into which a number of horses fell, dismounting the riders. I ordered the men in front to pass through the opening in the fence in pursuit. A new only had passed when we received a withering fire from 150 dismounted men and one piece of artillery, placed behind the stone fence on our right flank, running at an angle from the one in front. From this fire a number of men and horses were shot down. Seeing no chance to get at the enemy, and being exposed to a terrible fire from the sharpshooters and artillery (which were near by), I ordered the regiment to retire from that position by the left-about wheel. As the squadrons were wheeling, to my surprise I saw a large body of cavalry charging upon us from the right, which had been concealed from view by a hill. The regiment fell back across the hill to the point where it started, where it reformed, with the exception of some of the men who went into the road against orders. The enemy dashed up boldly, but did not enter the column, except 3, who were captured or killed. The Second South Carolin Regiment did not come to my support, as promised. I have learned since that it was blocked in the road by the Cobb Legion. Major Delony, of the Legion, came up with a few men, and he, in connection with Captain Cowles and Lieutenant Siler, of my command, made a dash at the enemy, when they ran back.

I lost in this affair 4 men killed and 17 wounded and captured. The captured men were dismounted at the ditch. The enemy report a loss of 4 men killed.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. B. GORDON,

Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.

Captain T. G. BARKER,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Hampton's Brigade.