and facing the stream. Late in the evening, my brigade was shelled to the left, nearly at right angles to our former line of battle. General Wofford formed on my right, and we were ordered at a signal (the firing of three guns in rapid succession in the direction of Fredericksburg) to attack the enemy. About 6 p.m. the signal was given, and we moved on continuously, with skirmishers in front, commanded by Captain Stewart Harrison, Seventh South Carolina Regiment. Having to march through a dense thicket of tangled brushwood and fences, harassed by a constant fire of shell and canister from the battery in our front, and another far to our left, which nearly enfiladed our lines, and having to oblique constantly to the right to maintain communications with Wofford's brigade, our progress was necessarily slow and difficult. Upon emerging from the woods into the open ground, I had the satisfaction to find my line in perfect order, and moved rapidly forward, directing the colors of the Seventh Regiment (the directing battalion, the second in line) immediately upon the battery in front. Simultaneously with our debouching from the wood, the enemy fled precipitately. Night having overtaken us by the time we reached the ground lately held by the enemy, I moved by the left flank to the toll-gate, on the Plank road, and communicated with General McLaws. I dispatched Lieutenant [R. S.] Brown, Second South Carolina Regiment, and 10 men down the Plank road to ascertain the position of the enemy, and, if possible, to communicate with the troops of Major-General Anderson. General Wilcox soon arrived with a portion of his brigade, and Captain [G. B.] Lamar, aide-de-camp, from General McLaws, with information that the enemy had retreated toward Banks' Ford, and I was directed to press them in that direction, changing front over that advance. General Wilcox sent out his regiment toward Banks' Ford, and in a short time the enemy opened a fire of musketry on his skirmishers. I immediately advanced my regiment to a point some 300 yards in front of the woods occupied by the enemy, where I found General Wilcox's troops in position. At the suggestion of General Wilcox, I halted here while Captain [B. C.] Manly's battery was brought into position, and, under the direction of General Wilcox, who was perfectly acquainted with the ground, with great accuracy and rapidity shelled the woods along the river and the ford for about half an hour. At the expiration of the time, with General Wilcox's regiment and the Seventh, Third, an Fifteenth Regiments, when thoroughly brushed the woods and hills about Banks' Ford, but found no enemy except straggling prisoners.
Near 4 o'clock in the morning, I halted, and gave the troops the rest they so much needed. Our pickets on the right were fired into afterward, but the camps were not disturbed.
After sunrise in the morning, I sent a detachment, under Major [F.] Gaillard, as far as the red house, on the River road, and occupied the other troops in gartering arms and accouterments abandoned by the enemy. At this point they collected over 800 stand of arms. About noon I received orders to proceed to the junction of the Mine road and the River road, near United States Ford, and take position. I was accompanied by the major-general commanding, the arrived about 2.30 p.m., relieving the troops under the command of General Heth at that place. Soon after I got into position, a severe storm of rain came up, which continued into the next day. Late in the afternoon, General Semmes came up and took position on my left. That night a working party and guard were detached from my brigade to report to Captain [S. R.] Johnston, of the Engineers, to erect works on the River road.