of the brigade that the advance line of skirmishers of the Sixth Virginia Infantry (Colonel George T. Rogers), under the immediate command of Captain Carter Williams, charged over the enemy's abatis near the Plank road, fired upon him in his rifle-pits, captured there prisoners from four different regiments, and the colors and color-bearer of the One hundred and seventh Ohio, returning to his position with his handful of men with the loss of an officer as prisoner. This gallant and successful sortie was made a little after dark, Saturday, May 2, when General Jackson's fire was heavy, and it was in fighting over the same ground the next morning that the valiant Williams fell, mortally wounded. The standard, a most elegantly finished work, was duly delivered.
Immediately following the fall of Chancellorsville, this brigade was sent with a brigade of Major-General McLaws' division, to look after the enemy, then reported to be advancing up the Plank road from Fredericksburg, under General Sedgwick. Meeting General Wilcox, with his brigade, about the divergence of the Plank and Turnpike roads, and finding that the enemy was realy and rapidly advancing, it was at once determined to meet him at Salem Church. At this point, possessing the advantages of ground, our line was formed.
In the meantime, Major-General McLaws had joined us with the ballance of his division. My brigade in the spirited fight at this place, occupied the extreme left of the line, lying wholly in the woods, and participated in the successful resistance made to the enemy's very determined effort to break our lines at that point. Upon the conclusion of this battle (Tuesday, May 5), the brigade rejoined its division.
The conduct of the officers and men (in bearing the hardships and privations attending eight consecutive days of exposure and exitement as well as in battle) deserve high commendation, and at least this acknowledgment at my hands.
The Twelfth Virginia, Lieutenant-Colonel [E. M.] Feild commanding, for its rigid and efficient resistance of the superior force of the enemy while covering the formation of our line of battle on the turnpike Friday, May 1; the Sixth Virginia, Colonel [George T.] Rogers commanding, for its vigorous pressure and bold sorties upon the enemy and his works around Chancellorsville Saturday and Sunday, May 2 and 3, for its veteran-like behavior at Salem Church, receiving without disorder the enemy's sudden fire while moving by the flank, and the Sixty-first Virginia, Colonel [V. D.] Groner, for its gallant and successful skirmish with the enemy during the formation of our lines at Salem Church, deserves special mention, while the part borne by the Sixteenth Virginia, Lieutenant-Colonel [Richard O.] Whitehead commanding, and the Forty-first Virginia, Colonel [William Allen] Parham commanding, was everywhere, though less arduous, well and bravely performed.
In this connection it is but due that I should record here my high appreciation of the efficient and gallant conduct of the staff officers with me-Captain R. Taylor, assistant adjutant-general, and First Lieutenant Richard Walke, ordnance officer.
Among the gallant spirits who were seriously wounded, Captain [Robert R.] Banks, Company E, Twelfth Virginia Infantry, must be mentioned. He fell among the foremost in the skirmish fight of his regiment on the turnpike, May 1, and was at the time commanding our advance guard. His conduct on this occasion was beautifully heroic.
The number of prisoners taken by the brigade was large, but cannot be accurately stated, owing to the hurried and detached manner in which they had to be sent to the rear.