At this juncture, Lieutenant-Colonel Holt, who, with his entire regiment, the veteran and gallant Tenth Georgia, were on skirmish duty, sent forward Lieutenant Bailey, Company A, of his regiment, with a flag of truce, and demanded the surrender of a party of the enemy still in their trenches. This demand was promptly acceded to by the surrender, with their guns, of the Twenty-seventh Connecticut and a detachment from another Connecticut regiment, with the colonel and other field and company officers, numbering in the aggregate 340, a number considerably exceeding the whole number of the Tenth Georgia present. Lieutenant-Colonel Holt, in his report, makes special mention of the conduct and services rendered by Captain McBride, Kibbee,and Leon, of the Tenth Georgia, while in command of the skirmishers of his regiment.
At about 8 a.m. the brigade received orders to move forward en echelon by battalion, in support of Kershaw's right, who had been ordered to advanced and form a junction with the troops on his left, who were driving the enemy before them. The advance continued until the brigade reached the turnpike, near the brick house, at about 11 a.m., when, with others, it was recalled from the pursuit, and ordered to form on the south of the road.
In a short time, orders were received from the major-general to move down the turnpike in the direction of Fredericksburg, to meet the enemy in strong force, who, under Sedgwick, was known to be hastening to the relief of Hooke's main army, which had just been so badly beaten and disposed of. Brigadier-General Wilcox, who, with his brigade retired before Sedgwick in his advance from Fredericksburg, had halted and formed line across the Plank road at Salem Church, 3 miles distant from Fredericksburg. Arriving on the field, this brigade by order, took position on the left of that of General Wilcox, Wilcox having only one of his regiment on the left of the road.
Marching by the right flanks, the most rapid mode of forming - being on the right by file into line - was executed under the fire of the enemy, who were pressing forward his lines to the attack. The fire, at first slight soon became severe. The two regiments of my left, the Fifty-third and Fiftieth Georgia, took position under a storm of bullets. Position was never more gallantly taken or more persistently and heroically held. The battle of Salem Church raged from this time without intermission on my front for two hours, the enemy's main attack being directed against my left, the Fifty-third and Fiftieth Georgia, re-enforcement after re-enforcement being pressed forward by him during the continuance of the fight.
This battle was one of the most severely contested of the war. Every regiment of the brigade came up to its full measure of duty. The brunt of the battle fell upon this brigade. Beyond my left there was only desultory firing, and beyond my right much firing did not extend far beyond and to the right of the road, whiles the roar of musketry raged furiously along my front.
The Tenth and Fifty-first Georgia made a most gallant charge in support of a charge made by one or more of Wilcox's regiments, driving the enemy in confusion 500 or 600 yards back upon his reserves, the men pressing forward with enthusiastic shouts, and shooting the enemy's men down at almost every step, attaining a position within 100 yards of his reserves, drawn up behind the brown house. Lieutenant-Colonel Holt was here ordered to rally his regiment for the purpose of storming the enemy's position and batteries, but, finding my handful of men left entirely without supports, I at length gave the order to retire to the line of battle, which was done with deliberation.