Cavalry we captured several of Dearing's brigade of the enemy's cavalry, and reached the railroad without opposition. Griffin's division was immediately disposed to cover the position toward the south and west, and General Ayres advanced to the north along the railroad. In about one mile this division found the enemy in line of battle, with artillery, which showed a firm disposition to contest our farther advance. General Crawford's division was then ordered up on the rights of General Ayres to outflank the enemy. Before, however, this was accomplished the enemy, at 2 p. m., advanced against General Ayres and forced his line to fall back to prevent being flanked. General Ayres contested the ground firmly, and finally drove the enemy back. Colonel Hofmann's brigade, Fourth Division, was sent to support General Ayres. Colonel Lyle's brigade, of General Crawford's division, also received a part of this attack. General Crawford continued to move forward his right until dark, but his advance was all the way through dense woods.
Our loss this day was as follows:
Killed. Wounded. Missing. Total.
Command. Officers Me Officers. Men. Officers. Men. Officers. Men. Aggregate.
Artillery .. 1 ... 5 ... ... ... 6 6
First .. . ... 5 ... ... ... 5 5
Second 4 38 29 295 2 255 35 588 623
Third 1 13 7 92 9 88 17 193 210
Fourth 1 8 2 43 ... 38 3 89 92
Total 6 60 38 440 11 381 55 881 936
The enemy's loss must have exceeded our own, as he left his dead and some wounded on the ground. General Ayres showed great bravery in fighting his troops under difficult circumstances. The Eighteenth New York Heavy Artillery acted very handsomely, and Lieutenant-Colonel Wiedrich, commanding, was wounded. General Hayes and Colonel Winthrop also acted with gallantry.
August 19, at 4 a. m. i sent General Bragg's brigade to the right to support General Crawford and establish a connection on the shortest line, with skirmishers, between my right and the pickets near the Jerusalem plank road. The order General Bragg did not execute as directed, but took up another line a mile or more to the rear. I at once directed General Bragg to correct his line and sent the best officers of my staff to assist. At 4.15, before this was accomplished and reported to me, the enemy broke through this picket-line with heavy force in column of fours, left in front, and facing to the right swept rapidly down to our left in rear of General Crawford's line. At the same time General Ayres and signal officers report a heavy force on my front, along the railroad. My line was so extended that two regiments of the Pennsylvania Reserve Veterans of General Crawford's division were all on as a skirmish line, and the enemy passed quite in their rear. Colonel Wheelock's brigade fought well and lost comparatively little. So much confusion, however, was producer by the men falling back, and masking the fire of those in line, that all General Crawford's line was compelled to fall back, and also the right of General Ayres' division. Colonel Lyle's brigade lost very heavily in prisoners, and General Hayes, commanding First Brigade of General Ayres'