On the night of the 23rd General Hagood was made sufficiently familiar with the mode of attack to make the necessary arrangements. No other officer of my command was aware of the intended advance. This precaution was taken, fearing that by some means the enemy might learn our intentions and prepare for us. In accordance with the plan my arrangements were made (which are fully and properly given in the inclosed report of General Hagood), dividing my forces on the left of the City Point road into two heavy skirmish lines, one to be supported by the other, the whole to be supported by Brigadier-General Anderson's brigade, of Field's division, formed in line of battle in rear of the intrenchments then occupied by Hagood's left and under cover of the hill. As was directed, the artillery from the batteries on the north side of the river opened fire upon the intrenchments of the enemy as soon as the morning's mist had cleared away, and continued its fire with great accuracy, but no execution, for half an hour. After an elapse of five minutes the fire of these guns was directed upon the batteries of the enemy, drawing in a great degree their fire from the advancing infantry, which, as far as I could see, was the only service rendered by our guns. Indeed, I fear we were injured more than we gained by the use of our guns, as it notified the enemy of our intended attack. My intention was to attack immediately after our guns opened on the enemy's batteries, but as General Anderson had not reported I delayed, and immediately one of his staff officers appeared, by whom General Anderson was informed that in fifteen minutes the attack would certainly take place, which would give him time to reach the intrenchments then occupied by Hagood. At the appointed time the advance was ordered and the second line immediately followed. The first line gallantly entered the intrenchments of the enemy and did their duty nobly, and, as was witnessed by General Lee himself, succeeded not only in breaking the enemy, but drove them from their works. It was never expected that the intrenchments of the enemy could be held by these two lines of skirmishers, but that they should occupy them until the line of battle could reach them.
As was before stated, the second line of skirmishers immediately followed the first, but was not allowed to go beyond the rifle-pits, as it was discovered that the supporting line of battle had not appeared, and had they gone on they would have shared the fate of the first line. I then asked Major-General Field, who was on the ground, to order General Anderson forward, as a moment's delay would be fatal. He immediately sent the order, which had been previously sent to General Anderson, to go forward. It is proper for me here to state that this was my third effort to get General Anderson forward after my notice to him that in fifteen minutes I would certainly move forward. Some time after General Field's second order was sent to General Anderson he received a note from him stating that the intrenchments were still occupied by General Hagood's troops. It this he was greatly mistaken, as will be seen by General Hagood's report, and, if necessary to prove the mistake, I can produce a statement from Colonel Du Bose, commanding Benning's brigade (who by this time had moved up in line of battle on the right of General Anderson's position, and after reaching the trenches moved by the left flank down them and occupied the position which General Anderson was to have taken, and this in his front), that there were no troops in the trenches apart from some stragglers, from which I am sure no command is free. After some time (I suppose an hour) Major-General Field put two brigades in the trenches on the left of the City Point road with a view to attack, and seemed anxious