retiring, and in a few moments the fire of small-arms was brisk and active. My command was the third battalion of the brigade in line of battle, and stationary during the first half hour of the firing; the battle-field, an open, woody country. The enemy advanced to within 200 or 300 yards, but could not be plainly seen on account of the smoke, trees, &c. After the firing had been continued about thirty [minutes] Clayton's brigade was moving forward to engage the enemy and to our support. The noise of battle was so great I could not hear any command; but thinking it an opportune moment for a charge, and seeing some of the brigade on my right move forward, I advanced to the front of my command and ordered a forward movement. The men and officers promptly and gallantly obeyed the command. The movement began at the moment when the Thirty-sixth Alabama Regiment (Colonel Woodruff commanding) was in the act of passing over my command in the charge, and the two regiments, commingled, charged in a run with loud and enthusiastic cheers. The enemy gave way and fled in confusion. We pursued them through the woods about a mile. I halted the regiment a short distance before reaching the field in front, after repeated unsuccessful efforts, on account of the impetuosity of the men. I ordered the halt, thinking farther pursuit fruitless and hazardous, as we had already gone far in advance of the general line of battle, and were exposed to an enfilade fire of grape from the right. The officers of the left wing not hearing the command "halt," on account of the noise and excitement, continued the pursuit several hundred yards farther, capturing 20 or 30 prisoners and passing a battery of three guns that had been abandoned by the enemy. The officers to whom I refer are Lieutenant Hinton, commanding Company A; Lieutenant Mills, commanding Company K, and Captains Lee, Holland, and Crenshaw, and their subordinates. They are entitled to a share of the honor of capturing this battery; but not the exclusive honor, as portions of the Thirty-sixth and Thirty-eighth Alabama Regiments, and perhaps others, assisted in its capture. Having halted the regiment and formed line, I waited about a half hour for the return of those who had gone ahead of the line and for support on the right and left. But believing the enemy were again advancing, I retired slowly and in good order about a quarter of a mile, where I found General Clayton and General Bate reforming their respective brigades. I reported to General Bate what I had done and he replied, "You have done right; I take off my hat to your regiment." The engagement of my command with the enemy began at 3 p.m. and lasted until nearly 5.
Lieutenant-Colonel Inzer behaved with conspicuous gallantry during the engagement, and rendered much valuable aid, by words and example, in causing the men to charge with enthusiasm and in reforming the regiment.
Major Thornton's bearing was cool and gallant. He received a wound in the ankle early in the action, which temporarily disabled him, preventing him from participating in the charge; but he found a loose artillery horse, mounted and soon rejoined the regiment.
Adjt. R. T. Harris, who had been wounded in several battles, received a severe flesh wound in the thigh early in the fight, while standing bravely at his post inciting and encouraging the men.
I commend the conduct and bearing of both officers and men as deserving the highest praise. I saw none who failed to do his whole duty.