Owens') of the Twenty-sixth Virginia Regiment, and Captain Bost's company (C), Holcombe Legion Infantry, South Carolina Volunteers. Earlier in the morning firing had been heard at Jarratt's Station. Supposing the 500 men I had seen the evening before to be the enemy's rear guard and baggage escort, I detached 200 men from the Fifty-ninth Virginia and moved with them to a point on the Halifax road 2 miles distant, in the hope of intercepting them. In this I did not succeed. The train passed the point I was making for before I could reach it.
From a prisoner I learned that General Kautz, with 3,000 cavalry and two batteries of artillery, was taking up a position at Chambliss' house and preparing for an immediate attack on Nottoway bridge. I made all possible haste to return to the support of Lieutenant-Colonel Jones, who had been left in command of the force at the bridge. I had established my command on the south side of the river, along a railroad embankment, which effectually protected them from the fire of the artillery in front. Captain H. Wood, of the Fifty-ninth Virginia Regiment, with 35 men, was posted at Parham's Crossing, 1 mile south of the bridge, on the road leading from Halifax road to Green Church bridge. A line of skirmishers connected this detachment with the main body. The enemy commenced shelling Colonel Jones while I was on my way from the Halifax road. At the same time an effort was made to break through the line of skirmishers. The detachment which I had carried to the Halifax road arrived in time to meet and repel this attack with considerable loss to the enemy. Almost simultaneously a vigorous assault was made on my extreme right. This was handsomely repulsed by Captain Wood. The enemy rallied and renewed the attack at this point with a regiment of cavalry (dismounted) and one piece of artillery. Captain Wood was overpowered, and, after a very creditable resistance, was obliged to give way.
Finding myself largely outnumbered, and the enemy having turned my right flank and gained my rear, I had no alternative but to cross the bridge and take a position on the north side of the river. This I accordingly did, and occupied a small redoubt about 300 yards from the bridge. This movement involved the loss of the bridge, but was the only one by which I could avoid the unavailing sacrifice of my whole command. The enemy pressed me closely and attempted to follow me. They crossed the bridge and advanced a short distance toward the redoubt, but were driven back, leaving their dead and wounded on the field. They succeeded, however, in firing the bridge. Major P. H. Fitzhugh, commanding the two companies of the Twenty-sixth Virginia, gallantly volunteered to take 20 men and extinguish it. By the time he reached it, however, the flames had made such headway that they could not be suppressed. After burning the bridge the enemy rapidly retired beyond range, leaving some of their dead and wounded on the south side of the bridge also.
After the action Lieutenant-Colonel Stetzel, Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry, was sent under a flag of truce to propose an exchange of prisoners. I assented to the proposition, with the condition that all the wounded left on the field-Confederates and Abolitionists-should be regarded as in my hands. Under this agreement, I recovered Lieutenant Talley, Fifty-ninth Virginia, and 4 men, and liberated Lieutenant [Corporal?] Jackson, Fifth Pennsylvania Cavalry, and the same number of men, all the prisoners I had.