vance, and to endeavor to check him all that I could should he move forward, on the Plank road. With this view, I formed my brigade promptly in line along the crests of the hills running near Stansbury's house, at right angles to the Plank road. Two rifled pieces of Lewis' battery were placed in position to the rear of the left of my line, and two slightly in front of my right, which rested some 500 or 600 yards in front of Guest's house. Skirmishers were thrown forward, covering my entire front. As soon as the four pieces of artillery were in position, they opened fire upon the enemy's lines, some 800 or 900 yards to the front. This held the enemy in check for some time. At length they deployed skirmishers to the front and began to advance. This was slow, and delayed by frequent halts, the seemed reluctant to advance. The enemy now brought a six-gun battery to the front on the left of the Plank road, not far from Marye's house, and opened with a fire of shells upon my line. The enemy's skirmishers now advanced and engaged ours, not nearer, however, than 350 or 400 yards, their solid lines remaining some distance behind the skirmishers. The enemy's battery having fired for some time, both the skirmishers and lines in rear advanced. They had also moved by a flank across the Plank road, and it was reported to me that they were moving up on the far side of the road, and were on a line with my right flank. The artillery was now directed to withdraw; then the skirmishers rejoined their regiments, and all moved to the rear on the River road, half a mile in rear of Dr. Taylor's, where they were halted for a few minutes.
In this affair with the enemy, Lieutenant [A.] Barksdale, of Lewis' battery, received a severe wound in the shoulder from a piece of shell; 3 infantry killed, and 18 or 20 wounded by skirmishers.
From this slight affair with the enemy, I felt confident, if forced to retire along the Plank road, that I could do so without precipitancy, and that ample time could be given for re-enforcements to reach us from Chancellorsville, and, moreover, I believed that, should the enemy pursue, he could be attacked in rear by General Early, re-enforced by Generals Hays and Barksdale. I now directed Major [C. R.] Collins, [Fifteenth] Virginia Cavalry who was with some 40 or 50 men, to move over to the Plank road slightly in rear of Downman's, and dismounting a part of his men in rear of at thicket of pine, to deploy them to the right and left of the road as skirmishers. The command then moved on to the red church (Salem Church), on the Plank road. The enemy followed up the Plank road, and halted when the skirmishers of Major Collins were seen by them. Having examined the ground near the tollgate, I determined to make a short stand there. My brigade was then moved back in line from Salem Church, and halted in rear of the gate. Two rifled pieces were placed in the road, and we waited the approach of the enemy. They were soon heard to fire on Major Collins' skirmishers (who retired after a short skirmish), and at length appeared in lines preceded by skirmishers. Major Collins' men now retired to the rear, and skirmishers were deployed from the regiments to their front. Our artillery opened fire upon the enemy's advancing lines. This caused a halt and a slight fire ensued between the skirmishers. The enemy now brought up artillery, and began a brisk shelling of our lines. At this time Major [James M.] Goggin, assistant adjutant-general, to General McLaws, reported to me that General McLaws had sent three brigades to my support, and that they would soon arrive. These brigades were directed to be halted in rear of the church, and out of view of the enemy.
In this affair with the enemy, Lieutenant [James S.] Cobbs, of Lewis'