War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0233 Chapter XLVIII. SOUTH SIDE OF THE JAMES.

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the firing. I dismounted from and turned loose, mounting the horse of my assistant adjutant-general, which I rode during the advance. When forces back and compelled to abandon the captured gun, having dismounted to pass an obstruction, as I was in the act of remounting with foot in stirrup this horse was killed by a cannon-ball, sprinkling me with his blood and driving pieces of his bones into my boot. During the remainder of the fight him to me in the woods, and I rode him out when the action was over.

Seeing me enter the woods on this horse at the beginning of the action and come out on him at its close, General Ransom may have supposed I had been riding him during the action, which he may have seen ridden by the clerk and mistaken him for me. This is the only explanation I can give of his assertion, which, so far as I am concerned, is without the slightest foundation. General Ransom in both papers referred to me lays particular stress upon his statements of the movement being to the left, and that the regiment and a half on the left of the road were "forced across the turnpike to the right." As I have already stated in my report:

The axis of our march not being exactly parallel to the turnpike, and the dress being to the right, some divergence had occurred between the two positions of the Ninth. I accordingly crossed the left half of this regiment to the right of the road, and, moving the Thirty-eighth obliquely, re-established the connection.

This movement occurred in the advance, which inclined to the right and not to the left of the road, as stated by General Ransom, and consequently they were never forced across the road at all, and General Ransom is in error in supposing that I so reported; and the regiment (Thirty-eighth) which was on the left of the Ninth never crossed the road until after the fight was over and we had retired by General Ransom's order and reformed the line. Then, and not until then, did that regiment cross the turnpike, on which the right of Gracie's brigade (only then arrived) was posted, which explains why Gracie met with so little resistance in his movement to the right. These strictures of General Ransom's gave me the first intimation I have ever had that the movement was to the left. He had ordered me to advance to the cross-roads (Bermuda Hundred and turnpike), and not to proceed farther; nor would it have been practicable to execute a movement to the left at the time he says he gave the order, for both flanks had been turned and were heavily pressed, as well as the front.

General Ransom's statement seems to imply that General Gracie's movement and connection took place during the engagement, which is not the fact. the truth is, General Ransom formed his line of battle with a wide gap between General Gracie's command and my own, and thus advanced me against a continuous double line of the enemy, consisting of at least a corps, and not one or two brigades, as supposed by him; and I cannot see that any amount of "vigor" on my part "could have prevented the necessity of calling Gracie from his position, and causing a withdrawal of the forces much earlier than was contemplated." On the contrary, I aver that my command penetrated to within 50 yards of a road beyond which I had been ordered not proceed, capturing prisoners from two divisions. In thus forcing back the largely superior force of the enemy it seems to me that my brigade did not act "feebly," but evinced considerable "vigor."