direction about 1 1/2 miles, I was halted and ordered to form line of battle to resist an attack from the front or the left flank. This disposition was made,and I remained in position until about 3.30 p.m., the enemy meanwhile actively shelling me.
At this time, i was ordered to move by the left flank, and having marched about three-fourths of a mile I was ordered to form on the left of Gracie's brigade. While this was being executed, I was ordered to make an oblique change of direction to the right, and to advance. I had advanced but a short distance when I was subjected to the enemy's fire. The enemy was posted on a heavily wooded ridge, from which he had several times repulsed other troops of our army. The approach to him was over a succession of hills with intervening depression, each hill to the front being somewhat more elevated. The brigade under fire of the enemy, moved steadily to the front 300 or 400 yards, holding its fire until within very short range of the enemy, the right being not more than 15 or 20, the center about 40, and the left about 60 yards distant when our first fire was delivered. After a desperately contested fight of half an hour I succeeded in gaining the hill, from which the enemy made three unsuccessful attempts to dislodge me by assault. However, owing to the conformation of the ground, the Fifty-eighth North Carolina was exposed to a galling fire from the front and both flanks, and after losing about half its numbers was compelled to fall back to a position of more security. Just before this falling back, Lieutenant Colonel Edmund Kirby, gallantly cheering his men, fell pierced by four bullets, Major Dula having been wounded early in the engagement. At this juncture I was indebted to
Brigadier-General Anderson for a re-enforcement of one regiment from his command. Colonel Palmer, the only field officer with the regiment, was here wounded, but still continued in command.
After exchanging fires with the enemy for about one and one-half hours I determined to attempt to dislodge him by assault, and for this purpose transferred the Fifty-eighth North Carolina from the right to the left of my line and moved forward, swinging somewhat to the right. When I arrived at the base of the hill the enemy was heard to cry, "We surrender! we surrender!" I immediately stepped to the front, my horse having been previously killed, and called upon the officer who seemed to be in command and demanded that if he proposed to surrender he should lay down his arms. He came to the front and said, "Wait a minute." I replied, "No, sir; lay down your arms instantly, or I will fire upon you," and turned to my command, but before I could give the command "ready," he poured upon it a terrific fire, which, on account of its suddenness, threw the brigade for the instant into confusion; but it rallied and was reformed within 30 yards of this position. I am confident that the enemy intended to surrender,and that his fire was drawn by an unauthorized shot from his ranks.
Finding that my ammunition was almost exhausted, I sent to the rear for re-enforcements or a supply of ammunition.
At this juncture, I met Colonel Trigg, commanding brigade, and informed him of the position of the enemy, asking him at the same time to co-operate with me in his capture. He agreed, and formed his line on my left with he intention of swinging the whole force to the right. Just as this movement was begun, I was notified by one of his staff that the brigadier-general commanding division wished to see me, and I repaired at once to where he was stationed