War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0241 Chapter XLVIII. SOUTH SIDE OF THE JAMES.

Search Civil War Official Records

to the Junction were manned with uninstructed convalescents and men on furlough, picket up in Petersburg, who deserted their pieces before they fired a shot. These I cause to be manned by men from the Tennesse (Johnson's) brigade and placed on the hill on the turnpike west of the railroad. The forces in front of Johnson's brigade contented themselves with threatening our right and firing artillery at the batteries and infantry in vicinity of Craig's house. Those on the east of Ashton Creek opened about 2 p. m. with artillery and infantry fire, to which we replied very successfully, so that they for a time seemed about to withdraw, and the firing ceased. General Hagood was instructed to cover the turnpike with his left regiment. After some delay this was accomplished by the foresight and interposition of General Hill just in time to meet the second line of the enemy, which had been moved under cover of the woods by the right flank, and now appeared bearing down on and flanking Hagood's left. General Hagood now changed the front of his left regiment so as to meet the enemy on his left. In this movement this regiment was exposed to a heavy cross-fire. At this juncture occurred the sharpest and most critical part of the conflict. The two pieces of artillery stationed in the pike ont eh west of the railroad wee, at call of General Hagood, sent to the left, and the second regiment from the left was drawn out to support the left regiment, the regiment on the right closing in to fill the interval. General Hagood's left now advanced, drove the enemy back with heavy loss, and regained the railroad to the left of his former position. The enemy again advance on Hagood's front, his brigade being under cover of the railroad, and were driven back with heavy loss. During both conflicts the artillery on the left of Craig's house played handsomely upon the enemy['s line, which had advanced on the east side of Ashton Creek and attacked Hagood's front. The pieces nearest Craig's house had several horses killed an one of the carriages damaged. The artillery sent to the left was badly served and gave but little assistance. Lieutenant-Colonel Eshleman brought up in the evening a battery of the Washington Artillery, which was sent to the support of Hagood's brigade, but it was then too late to afford any assistance. The infantry ceased firing, save a few sharpshooters, about 4 p. m. The artillery continued fire until about 6 o'clock, when the enemy retired from the field.

The enemy's loss is supposed to be about 1,000 men. Prisoners have estimated it much higher. The provost-marshal of Johnson's brigade reports 21 prisoners captured.

I distinguished four brigades of Federals on the field. Their forces are reported to have consisted of five brigade, commanded by Brigadier General W. T. H. Brooks. Our aggregate was 2,668, of which 1,500 were of Hagood's brigade, and 1,168 of Johnson's brigade. The conflict was maintained on our side entirely by Hagood's brigade and the artillery. My right flank (Johnson's brigade) after making the demonstration as stated on the enemy's left, had only to watch the threatening columns of some two brigades in its front. Seen men of that brigade were wounded, 1 mortally, while Hagood's brigade lost 177, viz, 22 killed, 142 wounded, and 13 missing. Brigadier-General Hagood handled his men with marked ability, coolness, courage, and watchful care. His report, herewith inclosed, will furnish more particular details in regard to the meritorious services of officers and men. The steady valor of his command was worthy of its

16 R R-VOL XXXVI, PT II