War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0632 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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was poured upon my brigade from the woods 50 yards immediately in front, which was gallantly met and handsomely replied to by my men. A few moments later, another messenger from my right informed me that General Wilcox had fallen back, and the enemy was then some distance in rear of my right flank. Going to the right, I discovered that the enemy had passed me more than 100 yards, and were attempting to surround me. I immediately ordered my men back to the road, some 300 yards to the rear. Arriving here, I found there was no cover under which to rally, and continued to fall back, rallying and reforming upon the line from which we started. In this charge, the brigade lost about 300 men killed, wounded, and missing, and I regret to state that, while retreating, the colors of the Eighth Florida Regiment were left upon the field, the color-bearer and the color-guard (one sergeant and two corporals) being killed or wounded and left upon the field. I cannot attach any blame to the commander of the regiment, as in the confused order of the retreat several colors were crowded near each other, and the flag was not missed until the brigade was halted at the woods, too late to rescue it. Throwing forward pickets, the brigade remained quietly in this position until daylight of the 3d, when I received orders from General Anderson to connect my right with General Wilcox's left, and conform my movements during the day to those of his brigade. I was at the same time notified that I would receive no further orders. About 7 a. m. General Wilcox moved forward to the supports of a portion of General Longstreet's artillery, then being placed in position; and, in accordance with orders, I moved up with his left, and put my command in front and at the foot of the hill upon which the batteries were in position, at the same time advancing my skirmishers to the crest of the next hill. Here we remained quietly until nearly 2 p. m., when the batteries opened a furious bombardment upon the enemy's stronghold, which lasted till nearly 4 p. m., when Pickett's division. of Longstreet's corps, charged the enemy's position, but were soon after driven back in confusion. Soon after General Pickett's troops retired behind our position, General Wilcox began to advance, and, in accordance with previous orders to conform to his movements, I moved forward also, under a heavy fire from artillery, but without encountering any infantry until coming to the skirt of woods at the foot of the heights. Just before entering the woods, a heavy body of infantry advanced upon my left flank. The noise of artillery and small-arms was so deafening that it was impossible to make the voice heard above the din, and the men were by this time so badly scattered in the bushes and among the rocks that it was impossible to make any movement to meet or check the enemy's advance. To remain in this position, unsupported by ether infantry or artillery, with infantry on both flanks and in front and artillery playing upon us with grape and canister, was certain annihilation. To advance was only to hasten that result, and, therefor, I ordered a retreat, which, however, was not in time to save a large number of the Second Florida Infantry, together with their colors, from being cut off and captured by the flanking force on the left. Owing to the noise and scattered condition of the men, it was impossible to have the order to retreat properly extended, and I am afraid that many men, while firing from behind rocks and trees, did not hear the order, and remained there until captured.