At this time I received orders to be ready to support Neely's brigade in a charge on the court-house. Lieutenant-Colonel Hatch, Ninth [Eighth] Alabama, reported to me that he was not able to command the regiment on account of his wound. This left my regiment in a precarious situation, having already lost severely in officers. I formed my own regiment, and at the signal moved forward. The fire of the enemy was very severe and most of the regiment was driven back. Some few succeeded in reaching the court-house. Having reached the court-house I examined the door and attempted to force it open, but found it too strongly barred and barricaded with corn-sacks piled against it. With the small force I had I saw the absurdity of remaining, and after reconnoitering the position ordered my men to follow men, and escaped by the rear of the court-house and rejoined the command. I found Neely's brigade withdrawing, and, having received no orders, went and asked Colonel Neely what I should do. He replied by directing me to withdraw immediately. I withdrew my own regiment and Lewis' battalion and sent orders to Lieutenant-Colonel Spence to do the same by Second Lieutenant Garber, company G, Ninth [Eighth] Alabama Regiment. This order Lieutenant-Colonel Spence informed me afterward he failed to received.
Having withdrawn, I ordered the Ninth [Eighth] Alabama and Lewis' battalion to mount their horses, which had been moved. This caused considerable confusion, from which the Ninth [Eighth] Alabama and Lewis' battalion soon recovered. Lieutenant-Colonel Spence withdrew his regiment in good order, although he was pushed severely by the enemy in rear and flank. Too much credit cannot be given Colonel Spence for the admirable manner he withdrew. Armistead's regiment, having reached their horses, mounted and assisted in protecting the rear. The enemy soon gave up the pursuit.
Where all acted so gallantly it is hard to discriminate, but I cannot close without calling attention to Captain Harrison, Company H, Ninth [Eighth] Alabama, who was wounded and left in the hands of the enemy (where the fight was the thickest there he was); Lieutenant McLemore, Company D, Ninth [Eighth] Alabama, for conspicuous gallantry and good service; First Sergeant White, Company C, and Private Green, Company G, for their coolness and courage, being the only ones who followed to the court-house. I would also mention Sergt. W. H. Strong, Company I, Armistead's regiment, who, having been separated from his regiment, attached himself and command to the Ninth [Eighth] Alabama and fought gallantly until returned to his regiment.
I regret having to mention the death of Major R. H. Redwood, Ninth [Eighth] Alabama.
My officers and men acted with great gallantry and coolness, with some exceptions. Among the latter I am compelled to mention Captain E. C. Rhodes and Second Lieutenant Garber, Company G, and First Lieutenant Miree, company H, Ninth [Eighth] Alabama.
Inclosed I forward list of killed, wounded, and missing.*
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
CHAS. P. BALL,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
Major J. C. BURCH,
* Not found, but see Pillow's report, p. 997.