stand, but being joined by a Georgia brigade [Lawton's, I believe], we made a second charge, which drove them from the railroad. Here the men were ordered to halt, but such was their impetuosity that much the larger portion of these two regiments advanced to the position which had been occupied by two of the enemy's batteries, which they found deserted. Being unsupported, they were, of course, compelled to retreat, which was done, under the most galling fire of grape, canister, and minie balls. The fact that only two regiments were actively engaged was accidental and unavoidable. The woods through which we passed being dense and filled with troops, the rapid run of the leading regiments soon separated them from the brigade, and while they passed well around to the left, the remainder of the brigade only marched by direct line to General Archer's left, who was said to have been flanked.
Driving the enemy from the woods was a task of short duration, and the troops engaged were completely successful in driving back the enemy before the remaining regiments [a few minutes behind them] could come to their assistance. During the fight several of the enemy's mounted officers were shot down, and the colors of one regiment were seen to fall four times.
It affords me much pleasure to mention the good conduct of Colonels Mayo and Tayloe and the officers and men under their command. The valor and daring of the men was unprecedented. Many of them were fighting in sight of their homes, and seemed determined to drive back the enemy at all hazards.
Our loss was considerable, being about 20 per cent, of the troops actively engaged.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. M. BROCKENBROUGH,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
[Major R. C. MORGAN,
No. 311. Report of Colonel D. H. Hamilton, First South Carolina Infantry, commanding Second [Gregg's] Brigade.
HDQRS.2nd Brigadier, Major General A. P. HILL'S LIGHT DIV., Bivouac on Rappahannock River, December 22, 1862.
MAJOR: In obedience to orders from division headquarters, I have the honor to forward the inclosed reports of the regimental commanders of this brigade:*
After the unfortunate fall of Brigadier General Maxcy Gregg, I assumed command of the Second Brigade. I have but little to add to my report as regimental commander of the First Regiment South Carolina Volunteers beyond mentioning that, so soon as I was informed that I was in command of General Gregg's brigade, I mounted a horse standing near and rode down the lines, informing the commanders of regiments that I was in command of the brigade, and cautioning the soldiers of the brigade to remain quiet and steady under the severe fire of shell which was falling along the line which we occupied, and I am pleased to say that their courage and steadiness were of the highest character. The brigade, except my own regiment [First South Carolina Volunteers] and