War of the Rebellion: Serial 039 Page 0908 N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXVII.

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Carolina Volunteers, a very small portion of the First [South Carolina] (under Captain [W. T.] Haskell), and a fragment of the Rifles, with my own regiment, then constituted the brigade. For some reason unknown to me, the First [South Carolina] Regiment and Rifles had moved to the rear. I was informed by this officer that our troops in front had driven the enemy from some redoubts, and that they were almost without ammunition, and that the enemy was about to flank them on our left. I at once formed that portion of the brigade under my command, and moved forward in the direction indicated. As soon as I reached the open ground in view of the enemy, I had taken advantage of a hill in front which protected us from the fire of this artillery, and was in the act of changing front, so as to move directly upon some woods to the left of the redoubts and to the left of the Plank road, but was prevented from doing so, and ordered to move straight forward by a general officer, whom I afterward learned was General Stuart. The brigade moved up with great spirit and determination, under a terrific fire of grape and shell from a battery in the open field, to within 250 yards of the battery. We had now almost passed the woods on the left of the Plank road, and the battery seemed to be almost in our possession, but a murderous fire of musketry was then poured upon our flank and rear from the woods on the left. This, of course, threw the whole line into some disorder, and I made an effort to fire to the left and rear, so as to meet the fire; but many had now taken shelter behind the redoubts, and returned the fire for some time from that position, but were soon driven away by the artillery in front. I succeeded in getting one company on the left fronted to the enemy, but almost every man of it was shot down, being but about 70 yards from the enemy, who was concealed behind a bank and trees. The line now began to give way in considerable confusion on the right and center, which was soon followed by the whole command, in spite of all my efforts to control it. I rallied the brigade again in the woods, but this was about the closing scene of the battle. General Trimble's division was then sweeping the woods on the left of the Plank road, and General Archer's brigade was pressing forward on the right.

The day was already won; the enemy made no effort to pursue us. We left a good many wounded, and some who were exhausted from the heat and long advance at the double-quick step, in the redoubts, which were filled with Yankee skirmishers, all of whom were brought off as prisoners. The loss of my own regiment in this second advance was severe, as it passed near the enemy and was much exposed, but it was the last to retire.

The officers and men, without exception, acted well. Lieutenant-Colonel [Joseph N.] Brown was not well, but continued on the field throughout the day, and was so prostrated that he was left on the field from exhaustion, but rejoined the regiment again during the day.

Lieutenant-Colonel [B. T.] Brockman, commanding the Thirteenth, managed his regiment with skill and did his duty in every respect. Major [E.] Croft, of the Fourteenth [South Carolina], was conspicuous in the performance of his duty. Captain [W. T.] Haskell, of the First [South Carolina] Regiment, was distinguished for his accustomed coolness and daring on such occasions.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel Fourteenth South Carolina Volunteers.

Captain T. P. ALSTON,

Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Second Brigade, Light Division.