while under my command in the battle of Chancellorsville on the 3rd instant:
About 6 a. m. the brigade was formed in the third, or near, line of battle, and moved forward under the command of Colonel [E. A.] O'Neal. Proceeding about 1 mile under a heavy fire of shell, we passed the second line of battle. Here Colonel O'Neal, who had so gallantly led us, was wounded, and this unfortunate circumstance placed me in command of the brigade. Soon we had overtaken the first line of battle, which was moving by the right and left flanks. At this point the brigade was separated, part of the Third and Sixth and all of the Twelfth Alabama Regiments following the troops moving by the left flank, and part of the Sixth, all of the Fifth and Twenty-sixth Alabama following those moving by the right flank. This, owing to the dense forest, was not discovered at the time. I had just assumed command, and had not time to pass to the center of the brigade before troops were seen in my front. Believing them to be our men, I ordered my command to cease firing and move on, and soon saw from his killed, and wounded that it was the enemy. The command was pressed rapidly forward under a most terrific fire of shell, grape, and musketry to the branch on the left of the road, and about 150 yards from the earthworks on Chancellor's Hill.
Seeding strong batteries on the hill, supported by heavy, columns of infantry I halted, and sheltering the men as much as possible, ordered them to fire on the men in the works on the hill, particularly at the cannoneers. So heavy was our fire that it was with difficulty that their gunners could be kept at their pieces, and their fire soon sensibly slackened. This fire was kept up fifteen or twenty minutes. During this time, Captain [H. A.] Whiting, assistant adjutant-general, went back to bring forward the balance of the brigade, from which it was here discovered we were separated. Very soon after halting a battery opened on my left, completely enfilading my entire line, but, owing to our position, most of the shot passed harmlessly overhead. I again sent back the order to bring up the remainder of the brigade, which was not found. The battery on my left continuing its enfilading fire, and heavy volleys of musketry showing the enemy to be there in strong force, I sent notice to the division commander that, unless they were pressed on my left my flank would be turned, and I could not hold my position. Just after sending this message, I discovered that the enemy in the works on the hill were in some confusion, when I ordered a charge, which was promptly obeyed by part of my command. The works were soon in my possession, together with a battery of five pieces, the enemy having fled with the rest of his guns. The colors of the Fifth and Twenty-sixth Alabama were planted within a short distance of each other on the works. The works carried about 9 a. m. by these two regiments and a small part of the Sixth who had become separated from their regiment. Noticing at this that all the men had not moved forward at the order to charge, I returned to the branch, and ordered them forward, which command was promptly obeyed. While hurrying these forward, I noticed a body of men on my left, running. I called to an officer, then passing, asking him what that meant,and who those men were. He stated that they belonged to a brigade which I knew to be on my left, and that the d-d scoundrels would not fight. I pointed to the works, telling him that my men held them, and called on him to assist me in rallying his men for the purpose of resisting the enemy, then advancing on my left and rear. The men could not be rallied. The enemy continued to advance unopposed, and, gaining my rear, compelled me to