farther. I was then ordered to deploy skirmishers covering the front of my regiment. I obeyed the order as promptly as possible. After advancing 300 yards farther, the skirmishers which had been deployed came in contact with the enemy. My regiment continued to advance, which soon brought us up to the position occupied by my skirmishers, at which time we found ourselves under a heavy fire of musketry. The enemy being ambuscaded in a hedge of cedars, rendered it impossible to open an effective fire on them. My regiment continued to advance until we arrived at a rail fence, which was 100 yards from the front of my regiment at the time the enemy opened fire on my skirmishers, and about 40 yards from the hedge of cedars. We soon arrived at the fence and passed over it, at which time I gave the command "charge." My regiment charged, driving the enemy promptly before them out of the hedge. We continued the charge for about 100 yards, which brought us some distance beyond the hedge in an open woods. The front of my regiment by this time was unmasked by the enemy's infantry, having driven them to our left. A heavy cannonading quickly ensued from masked batteries, stationed about 150 yards distant, and opposite the right of my regiment and the left of the Fourteenth Texas Regiment, commanded by Colonel [J. L.] Camp. The fire of shot, shell, and grape being so terrific, I ordered my regiment to stand, which they did. We were at this time under a heavy fire of musketry and artillery, my regiment, in conjunction with Colonel Camp's, having halted and held the enemy in check for about fifteen minutes. I at time discovered that the two regiments composing the right of the brigade had been separated, from some unknown cause, from my regiment and Colonel Camp's. I cautioned my regiment to stand fast and continued the fire. I approached General M. D. Ector, who was stationed at the time in the rear of the center of my regiment, cheering my men on. I asked him where the balance of the brigade was. He replied he did not know. I then remarked to him it was impossible for my regiment an Colonel Camp's to contend against a brigade of infantry and the artillery, too, as our regiments were comparatively small. He then remarked, "We had better give back." I then returned to my command and ordered them to five back, the booming of cannon and musketry being so terrific at the time that it was impossible for my voice to be heard only by those who were near me. However, the men who heard the command obeyed it, which was discovered by the men up and down the line; also by the left of Colonel Camp's regiment, which caused both regiments to fall back in as good order as possible, under the circumstances. We retired the same route we advanced until we arrived in the woods, about 700 yards distant. We were then halted by General M. D. Ector in line and ordered to rest.
It was now about 2 p.m. We remained at this point about one hour, at the end of which time the Tenth and Eleventh Regiments joined us. We were then moved to the right and rear of this point, where we halted, the operations of the day in which my regiment was engaged having ceased. It was now New Year's night, and as we were fatigued from the toils of the day, we were permitted to rest undisturbed. The dawn of a new year soon hovered over us. We found ourselves stationed about 750 yards in front of the enemy's line of battle. The ground being covered with rock and fallen trees suitable for a breastwork, the men soon appropriated them for that purpose, anticipating an attack from the enemy. The breastworks being completed, every man was at his post awaiting the advance of the enemy. The enemy did not advance.
The day passed off quietly until 4.30 p.m.; the enemy at this time opened fire with artillery, endeavoring to shell us from our position, the woods in which we were stationed being so heavily timbered that the