War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0368 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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large wheat-field was seen. In rear of the wheat-field, and between that and the mountain, was the enemy's main line of battle, posted behind a stone wall.

Under my instructions, I determined to move upon the stony hill, so as to strike it with my center, and thus attack the orchard on its left rear. Accordingly, about 4 o'clock, when I received orders to advance, I moved at once in this direction, gradually changing front to the left. The numerous fences in the way, the stone building and barn, and the morass, and a raking fire of grape and canister, rendered it difficult to retain the line in good order; but, notwithstanding these obstacles, I brought my center to the point intended. In order to restore the line of the directing battalion [the Seventh South Carolina], as soon as we reached the cover of the hill, I moved it a few paces by the right flank. Unfortunately, this order given only to Colonel [D. Wyatt] Aiken, was extended along the left of the line, and checked its advance.

Before reaching this point, I had extended an order to Colonel Kennedy, commanding Second South Carolina Regiment [my left center regiment], then moving in magnificent style, to charge the battery in their front, being the second battery mentioned above, and which most annoyed us, leaving Barksdale to deal with that at the orchard.

Meanwhile, to aid this attack, I changed the direction of the Seventh Regiment [Colonel Aiken] and the Third {Major [R. C.] Maffett

to the left, so as to occupy the rocky hill and wood, and opened fire on the battery. Barksdale had not yet appeared, but came up soon after, and cleared the orchard, with the assistance of the fire of my Eighth South Carolina {Colonel [John W.] Henagan

, on my left, and James' battalion {Lieutenant-Colonel [W. G.] Rice, the next in order of battle. This brigade then moved so far to the left as no longer to afford me any assistance.

In a few minutes after my line halted, the enemy advanced across the wheat-field in two lines of battle, with a very small interval between the lines, in such a manner as to take the Seventh South Carolina in flank. I changed the direction of the right wing of the regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel [Elbert] Bland, to meet the attack, and hurried back to General Semmes, then som 150 yards in my right rear, to bring him up to meet the attack on my right, and also to bring forward my right regiment {Fifteenth South Carolina, Colonel De Saussure

, which, separated from the command by the artillery at the time of the advance, was now cut off by Semmes' brigade. Its gallant and accomplished commander had just fallen when I reached it, and it was under the command of Major [William M.] Gist. General Semmes promptly responded to my call, and put his brigade in motion toward the right, preparatory to moving to the front. I hastened back to the Seventh Regiment, and reached it just as the enemy, having arrived at a point about 200 yards from us, poured in a volley and advanced to the charge. The Seventh received him handsomely, and long kept him in check in their front. One regiment of Semmes' brigade came at a double-quick as far as the ravine in our rear, and for a time checked him in their front. There was still an interval of 100 yards between this regiment and the right of the Seventh, and into this the enemy was forcing his way, causing the Seventh to swing back more and more, still fighting at a distance not exceeding 30 paces, until the two wings were doubled on each other, or nearly so.