took its place in the line of battle on the left, of the brigade (Rains'), which was the extreme left of General McCown's division. Ten minutes after forming, the order to advance was given, which was done in good order until a lane half a mile from the point of starting was reached, when the enemy's pickets were encountered, and a short but brisk firing commenced, without, however, retarding the progress of the command for one moment. The pickets fell back behind the cover of a field battery of one brass piece (12-pounder howitzers), which the men, sweeping on, took before it could be got into position to open fire. Four of the gunners were captured at their guns, besides some other of the enemy's vedettes, who were run down by our men in the chase, which had now extended to 2 1/2 miles. Not stopping at this gun longer than to send the prisoners to the rear, the regiment again pushed on (in its designated place in the brigade) for, perhaps, 2 miles farther, capturing meantime one six-mule team and wagon, loaded with ammunition, instruments of a brass band, kettle and bass drum, and one four-mule wagon, loaded with medical stores. Soon after, in passing through a dense oak wood, a battalion of the enemy's sharpshooters were discovered lying on the ground some 50 paces in advance. They fired one volley into us, which, being promptly returned, they retired rapidly across a corn-field and into a thicket of cedars, where the enemy were posted in strong force. This thicket of cedars was so dense that it formed in itself a natural breastworks and protection to the enemy posted therein. Halting the regiment but a moment for the stragglers to close up, the command was given to drive them out, and the men commenced promptly to advance. Here the struggle of the day took place. The enemy, sheltering themselves behind the trunks of the thickly standing trees and the large rocks, of which there were many, stubbornly contested the ground inch by inch. Our brave boys, cheered on and led by their field, staff, and company officers, advanced through a very tempest of leaden hail and drove them pell-mell from the thicket into an open field beyond. Here the enemy's batteries, on an eminence half mile beyond, began to play upon us. The men stood to their places amid this storm of shot and shell and grape and canister until it was ascertained that their ammunition was exhausted. Just at this moment, too, General Rains was seen to fall, and the news, running like wild-fire along the whole line, produced a temporary confusion, which induced the senior colonel of the brigade to order the command to fall back both to get ammunition and to shelter themselves from the enemy's batteries, against which they could do nothing.
During the engagement my horse was killed and Adjutant [John E.] Hoye's shot under him.
The regiment entered the fight with 300 men, but, from the long-continued chase, at least 50 fell out and were not in the fight in the cedars. We had 5 men killed, 46 wounded, and 5 missing, making a total of 56.
Some of the officers and men deserve especial mention for their daring, gallantry, and good conduct upon the field, while all engaged did their duty.
ROBT. B. VANCE,
Colonel, Commanding Twenty-ninth North Carolina Regiment.
Major [H. S.] BRADFORD,