manded the road as far as the fork, perhaps 600 yards. Company K was still in front deployed as skirmishers.
WE remained half an hour or so, slight skirmishing going on between our cavalry and the enemy, until the former withdrew and went to the rear, leaving our skirmishers directly opposed to the enemy.
Soon the dust to our front and right plainly indicated an advance of the enemy, and, unaccountably, Company K fell back upon our main body, and resisted the utmost endeavors of their commander to drive them to their duty. Seeing that there was no probability of the skirmishers being advanced to cover our front, I suggested that they establish a new line where we then stood, and the main body be withdrawn about 100 yards to the rear.
Major Hadlock acted upon my suggestion so far as to move the main line about 50 yards to the rear, in such a position that we could see the road no farther than the crest of the hillock before mentioned a distance of not more than 60 yards at farthest. A cloud of dust in front told plainly the enemy were coming, and not far off. The line of skirmishers fell back on their appearance; the main line, with pieces ready, awaiting orders with a coolness and determination I never saw surpassed. As the enemy came up we could hear the clatter of the horses' hoofs (they were cavalry), but could not see them on account of the elevation in front.
At this time Major Hadlock was on a slight elevation in our rear, and, being mounted, could see the enemy as they approached much sooner than any of his command could. While we were still waiting, no enemy yet in sight, we were surprised by an order from Major Hadlock to fire, accompanied with some such remark as that we will give them one volley anyhow. There can be no mistaking that there was no enemy in sight when my company fired in obedience to the order thus given. Though the men aimed very low, the volley, of course, proved ineffectual, as it passed over their heads. We were thus with empty pieces when a moment after the head of the enemy's column appeared on the crest in front, and halted to observe the position of things. On their appearance Major Hadlock ordered a retreat in quick time, the men reloading as they fell back. The enemy, quick to profit by the advantage thus given them, charged us. Seeing the new danger, the major ordered a double-quick, and being thus thrown into confusion, we fell an easy prey. My company, being altogether in the road with no advantages for escape, suffered a greater loss than the rest, while the companies in the woods suffered slightly. None of the men captured were wounded, and but 2 of the enemy were struck, both hurt slightly. These and the 2 horses wounded were shot by the file leaders and such others of my company who did not fire with the body of the company.
After my capture I learned that one regiment of cavalry, the Sixth Georgia, under Colonel Hart, was the attacking force, but that one company of the regiment, Company A, under Captain Brown, made the charge and routed our four companies.
I would be doing a gross injustice to the men with whom I have shared the fortunes of war for the last three years did I close this report without bearing testimony that throughout this most disgraceful affair the alacrity with which they obeyed orders, and the coolness they evinced, I never saw surpassed, and that, though sharing the discharge, and, many of them, with myself, the suffering consequent, they do not deserve any part of the blame.