by the flank while the three lines of battle advanced. After it was ascertained that the enemy were rapidly falling back, it pushed forward with the artillery beyond the third and second lines to within a short distance of the first.
Here General A. P. Hill ordered me (at dark) to deploy one regiment as skirmishers across the road, to form line of battle in rear with the rest of the brigade, and to push vigorously forward. In other words, we were ordered to make a night attack and capture the enemy's batteries in front, if possible. Just then they opened a terrific artillery fire, which was responded to by our batteries. As soon as this was over, I deployed the Thirty-third North Carolina troops forward as skirmishers, and formed line of battle to the rear - the Seventh and Thirty-seventh to the right, the Eighteenth and Twenty-eighth to the left, the left of the Thirty-seventh and the right of the Eighteenth resting on the road. I had moved forward the Eighteenth and Twenty-eighth to within a short distance of our line of skirmishers, and was about to move the Seventh and Thirty-seventh to a corresponding position before ordering the whole line forward, when Lieutenant-Colonel [Levi H.] Smith, of a Pennsylvania regiment [the One hundred and twenty-eighth], entered our lines with a white flag and wished to know if we were Confederate or Union troops. Considering this an illegitimate use of the white flag, as he expressly stated it was not his object to surrender, and not wishing to let him return, I sent Lieutenant [O.] Lane to General A. P. Hill to know what I should do. Our skirmishers on the right soon after fired upon a few of the enemy who had approached tolerably near, and a few random shots were fired by the Seventh and Thirty-seventh Regiments without orders, which appears to have drawn the enemy's artillery and infantry fire. I understand from the official report of the commanding officer of the Eighteenth North Carolina troops that General A. P. Hill, staff, and couriers were in the road in advance of them at the time, and to avoid the enemy's fire some of them dashed into the woods over the Eighteenth Regiment, which fired into them, mistaking them in the dark for the enemy's cavalry.
After this unfortunate mistake, I received information that a body of troops was moving on our right. I at once sent out Lieutenant [James W.] Emack and 4 men to reconnoiter, and they soon returned with a Pennsylvania regiment, which had thrown down their arms and surrendered themselves prisoners of war. This regiment was commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Smith, who had commenced to remonstrate with me for allowing it to be captured while he was in my lines with a white flag, when the enemy's artillery opened upon us again. I at once sent the regiment to the rear, under Captain [J. P.] Young, his company having been detailed as a guard, and turned Lieutenant-Colonel Smith over to Captain [R. H. T.] Adams, signal officer, to be taken to General A. P. Hill.
General A. P. Hill being wounded, the night attack was not made as at first contemplated. I withdrew the left wing of the Thirty-third, which formed on the right of the Seventh, and extended our line still farther to the right, with the Eighteenth and Twenty-eighth Regiments, the right of the Twenty-eighth resting on a road running obliquely to the Plank road, with two of it companies broken back, to guard against a flank movement.
Between 12 and 1 o'clock that night, the enemy could be heard marshaling their troops along our whole front, while their artillery was rumbling up the road on our right. Soon after, their artillery opened right and left, and Sickles' command rushed upon us with loud and prolonged