War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0237 Chapter XLVIII. SOUTH SIDE OF THE JAMES.

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in reserve immediately in rear of Hagood's brigade. The division commanded by Major-General Ransom, being in the field on our extreme left, wa to turn the right of the enemy and pivot upon his right and connect with my left, while I was to engage the enemy in front with strong lines of skirmishers, and also open upon them with all my artillery. At the earliest dawn I ordered y entire artillery to open and advanced the skirmishers of my whole front, and awaited battle, thinking it would require this length of time to make the move, and knowing I must lose heavily by an advance upon the front, which it was the desire of the commanding general to avoid by the flank move.

Owing to the dense fog, I could see nothing of the movement of Major-General Ransom, and supposing by this time the right of the enemy had been turned, I ordered forward the brigades of Hagood and Johnson, with one section of Lieutenant-Colonel Eshleman's artillery, and found the enemy still occupying our outer line of intrenchments in heavy force, supported by eight pieces of artillery, with a second line of intrenchments along the line of woods immediately in front of our outer linen of works. After commencing the move I could not recede, and ordered an attack by these two brigades which was handsomely and gallantly done, which resulted in the capture of five pieces of artillery by Hagood's brigade and a number of prisoners, besides killing and wounding many, and also in occupying the works. One regiment ont he left of Hagood's brigade extended across the outer line of works in the direction of James River, which was ordered forward to connect with the right of General Ransom's division, but to my amazement found the enemy in strong force behind intrenchments. It was not intended that this regiment should attack the enemy in this position, as the movement was to be made by the troops on the left, by they in their eagerness to enter the engagement did so, and, I am sorry to say, suffered most heavily. When it was seen that the enemy still occupied my front, this regiment was ordered back tot he line of intrenchments to await the further development of the flank movement.

In the mean time the enemy made two charges upon the front of Hagood and Johnson to retake the lost works and artillery, but was most handsomely repulsed, and was followed on the left of Hagood's brigade, and driven from the woods in their front, and with the assistance of our artillery the pike was cleared of the enemy before the flanking column reached that point. During this time the masses of the enemy between our intermediate and outer lien of works had moved upon the right flank and rear of General Johnson, which was some distance on the right of the pike and int he outer line of works, and made his position quite critical, but the stubbornness of the general made it all right. He was repeatedly attacked i this position, but repulsed every effort of the enemy. It was at this time I was anxious to get a brigade to throw down the outer line of works, which would have completely placed that portion of the enemy in the woods between our outer and intermediate lines at our mercy, but owing to a misunderstanding of the officer who conducted these forces they were placed in position improperly, and were of no avail. During these repeated attacks upon the right of General Johnson I became alarmed for him, as he had several times sent to me for assistance, and ordered two regiments of Clingman's brigade to report to him, which I did with great reluctance, as I left it would defeat my plans