War of the Rebellion: Serial 039 Page 1040 N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXVII.

Search Civil War Official Records

whole road. Great confusion existed, but the regiment did not move from their position, lying down just where they had been drawn up, which fortunately saved great loss of life, as only 3 men were slightly wounded by this fire. We were afterward filed to the left into the woods, and took position with our line facing the Chancellor house, in which position we were occasionally subjected to the enemy's artillery fire during the night.

At dawn we moved forward upon the enemy's lines in front. At this time we formed the second line of battle, and through for some time subjected to the enemy's fire, could not return it. We were moved then by the left flank for some distance and again marched to the front, which brought us on the front line. Here the enemy's skirmishers opened fire. They were immediately driven in, and we engaged their line. It was discovered that they were throwing a force around our flank. Our regiment was then thrown perpendicularly to the rear, it being the extreme left regiment. This was effected in time to engage with success the flanking force of the enemy and check their movement. Soon after, from some cause, the regiments on our right fell back, and, finding that there was no support on our right or left, though at the time checking the enemy with case, I thought it best to draw the regiment off, especially as it was just then reported to me that the enemy were still moving to my left flank. I gave the order to march in retreat, which was done without haste and in perfect order. I fell back 200 yards, where we again formed line of battle, but farther to the left of the former position. Soon after, the enemy, having advanced, opened fire, but upon my front at long range. I ordered my men not to waste their ammunition, and not to fire until they could seen an object. In this way we were engaged over half an hour, my right wing firing pretty briskly, being subjected to a much severer fire than the left. In this way we expended about 25 rounds, when the order to charge was given, which was done in gallant style under a very severe and galling fire, driving the enemy (Tyler's brigade) from their position in great confusion, capturing a colonel and several officers of his command. We were then ordered back to the Plank road to procure ammunition, which was entirely exhausted. We were again moved to the Chancellor house, placed in line parallel to the line of battle then formed on the Plank road near that house, and ordered to advance, which we did, driving the enemy's skirmishers in, when their artillery opened upon us. Still we advanced, and, though subjected to a most terrible fire, reached a point within 300 yards of the enemy's guns (some 12 in number) placed upon an elevated position. For some reason the right did not reach this point, or, if so, had retired from it, and I was forced to retire, numbering only 123 muskets in the regiment at that time.

With regard to the exact time of these different movements, I can make no statement except that the one last reported was made after 12 m. on the 3rd instant, and after the firing had ceased on our whole line.

I cannot say too much in just praise of the officers and men of this regiment (never flinching from the most galling fire), I report with pride that none of this command have failed in their utmost duty. Where all have acted well and nobly I cannot make any distinction.

I am, with, respect, your obedient servant,

R. E. BURKE,

Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Second Louisiana Regiment.

[Captain ALEX. BOARMAN,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Nicholls' Brigade.]