column passed the bridge at 9 o'clock in the morning, and encamped for the night at Hainesville.
On July 19, at Bunker Hill, I received orders to march with my command for fMillwood, in order to obtain possession of Ashby's Gap, with a view to covering our future movements. We marched early on the next day, part of the command reaching Millwood at night. The Shenandoah was found to be past fording, however, and the enemy had driven our cavalry from the Gap, and were in possession down to the river bank. I reported this to the commanding general, and continued my march on the following day for Manassas and Chester Gaps. Arriving at the Shenandoah at Front Royal, it was found to be past fording, and the work of laying our bridges was hardly [hurriedly?] begun. Brigadier-General Corse, who had been hurried forward with his brigade to secure the Gaps, succeeded in passing the stream with his men and several batteries. Detaching a regiment to Manassas Gap, he marched his main force into Chester Gap, and succeeded in getting possession of the latter some few moments before the enemy appeared. The enemy was in possession of Manassas Gap, but Colonel [Arthur] Herbert, of the Seventeenth Virginia Regiment, secured a strong position with his regiment, from which he held the enemy in check. The rest of Pickett's division was hurried over by crossing the ammunition and arms in a flat-boat, the men wading. Re-enforcements were sent to Colonel Herbert, when he drove back the enemy, and secured as much of the Gap as was desirable. Re-enforcements were also sent to General Corse, who was engaged in skirmishing with the enemy, and was threatened by a strong cavalry force. The cavalry withdrew about the time th re-enforcements reached him. The bridges were completed about 12 o'clock at night, and the passage by our trains commenced.
The next day the enemy appeared in stronger force in Manassas Gap, but I had posted Hood's division there, under Brig. General E. M. Law, and he gave us but little trouble. He also reappeared at the foot of the mountain, at Chester Gap. As soon as our men finished cooking their rations, General Wofford's brigade, of McLaws' division, was ordered to disperse the cavalry that was at the foot of the mountain, and endeavor to capture his artillery. General Pickett was ordered to send a force down the mountain by a different route, to get in rear of and intercept the cavalry. After a light skirmish with General Wofford, the enemy made a hasty retreat. Our march was continued, arriving at Culpeper Court-House at noon on the 24th instant.
General Benning's brigade, which had been left on picekt at Gaines' Cross-Roads with the Fourth and Fifteenth Alabama Regiments, to await the arrival of Lieutenant General A. P. Hill's corps, were attacked by the enemy's cavalry while on the march, each having a smart skirmish.
I desire to mention the following-named officers as among those most distinguished for the exhibition of great gallantry and skill, viz: Major-Generals Pickett, Hood, and Trimble, the two latter severely wounded; Kemper, very seriously wounded; Semmes, severely wounded, and since died of his wounds; Pettigrew, slightly wounded; Kershaw, Law, and G. T. Anderson, the last severely wounded
Brigadier-General Barksdale was mortally wounded in the attack on the evening of the 2d, while bravely leading his brigade in the assault.