War of the Rebellion: Serial 039 Page 0986 N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXVII.

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My command was formed in the following order, from right to left: Twenty-third North Carolina, Twentieth North Carolina, Twelfth North Carolina, and Fifth North Carolina. The direction was Chancellorsville, moving to the left of and parallel to Germanna road. Advancing through the almost impenetrable undergrowth, subjected to the incessant artillery fire of the enemy, it was impossible to see any portion of the brigade over 50 yards. In consequence of the difficulty of proceeding, I soon received information from Lieutenant-Colonel [John W.] Lea, commanding the Fifth North Carolina, that his regiment was disconnected from the brigade. Fearing that he might get lost, and fall into the hands of the enemy, I sent him works to move by the right flank and then close up. This maneuver threw him in rear of the line, leaving the Twelfth North Carolina on the left flank. Upon reaching the left flank. Upon reaching the first barricades of the enemy, which had been carried by the first line of our troops, a heavy fire of artillery opened on my left, raking the whole line, and the skirmishers of the enemy fired on my left flank. I ordered Lieutenant-Colonel [R. D.] Johnston, commanding Twelfth North Carolina to deploy skirmishers to protect his flank, and to press on. At the barricades I met General Rodes, and informed him that the enemy were threatening my flank. My brigade pressed on, and found the troops of the first lines retiring before the heavy force of the enemy, and we became the first line, engaging the enemy in front, who gradually retired before us; but at this time they were advancing in heavy force on my left flank. I dispatched a messenger to General Stuart with this information, and asked him for re-enforcements. Before any have arrived, they closed up with us, forcing the Twelfth and Twentieth North Carolina to retire to the barricades. Colonel D. H. Christie, with five companies of his regiment, had charged that part of the enemy's batteries resting on the Plank road, captured it, and by an enfilanding, fire caused the abandonment of their guns, when, finding that he was outflanked from the left, was forced to retire, after a desperate fight, losing many men killed wounded, and prisoners. It is supposed that Major [C. C.] Blackball, of the Twenty-third North Carolina, was captured here. Lieutenant-Colonel Lea, with the Fifth North Carolina, had come up in the meantime, but had not been engaged. He reported his regiment to me in the center of my brigade, and was ordered to sustain two regiments of Rodes' brigade in an advanced position, but, finding the whole falling back, he also retired to the breastworks. Finding the danger from the forcing of our left flank imminent, and the enemy still pressing on, I was forced to that point, and, in conjunction with General Thomas, formed a portion of a Louisiana brigade with two regiments of Rodes' brigade (I think the Sixth and Twelfth Alabama), to meet the attack of the left. At the same time, having learned that the troops with General Lee had driven the enemy and effected a junction with the right of our corps, I announced the fact to my brigade, and again advanced them to the front. They had gone but short distance when the troops I had formed on the left became engaged with the advancing line of the enemy. I them communicated with Colonel W. B. Pickens, commanding Twelfth Alabama, whose gallantry on this occasion I cannot too highly commend, so completely and courageously did he lend himself to aid me in preparing the line to resist an attack, and ordered him to hold the enemy in check till I could procure re-enforcements. The incessant stream of balls showed that the enemy were in force, and I found that the advance of my brigade was continually checked by the enemy on the left enfilading the line. Leaving the troops I had placed in position, I went out to the