War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0948 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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re-enforce he exposed his flank to me. I at once ordered General Lee to attack, which he did with the Ninth and Tenth Virginia Regiments in the handsomest style, leading his men in person. These regiments went in in line of battle, dismounted, and reserved their fire until very near the enemy. Delivering it regularly, they charged, routing the enemy completely, capturing about 900 prisoners and 10 standards. McGregor kept his guns on the line of battle, charging with the troops, and keeping up a steady and accurate fire. The whole affair was one of the hand-sorest I have seen, and it reflects the highest credit on the troops engaged in it. To show the effect of this flank attack I may mention that The Army and Navy Gazette, a paper of the enemy, in reviewing the operations of their army, attributed the failure of their whole movement on this side of the James River to the fact that a flanking column was thrown between two of their divisions and swept off many men. We captured here and in the attack the night previous nearly 1,000 prisoners, including a very large number of commissioned officers. Expecting that we would make an attempt the next morning to recapture the lines we had lost, I placed my command, or rather Lee's division and Dearing's brigade, near Fort MacRae, in the works. Whilst resting here Butler was attacked on the Vaughan road. Taking two of General Lee's regiments (the Ninth and Thirteenth Virginia) I crossed the country, struck the Squirrel Level road, and charged the enemy in rear. They fell back on the Vaughan road and took a very strong position near McDowell's house. I determined to attack them here and sent to General Lee to bring up two more regiments. Before these were put in the enemy was driven from our lines of works and my men had got within a few yards of their main line. Here it was that General Dunovant was killed, at the head of his brigade, whilst gallantly leading them, and Doctor Fontaine, my medical director, who went to his assistance, was mortally wounded. Each of these officers, in his own sphere, was an admirable one; both were zealous in the performance of their duties and both were a loss to the service and to the country. Just as we were about to charge the breast-works it was reported that the enemy had gained my rear. This involved new dispositions to meet the expected attack and before it was ascertained that the report was groundless it was too late in the day to carry out my original plan of attack. The command was withdrawn at dusk, after having driven the enemy some distance and capturing 30 or 40 prisoners. This closed the active operations of my command for the present, and the troops resumed their former camps.

It gives me great pleasure to state that officers and men behaved as well as I could wish. I am under special obligations to Major-General Lee and Brigadier-General Butler, both of whom rendered me great assistance and behaved most gallantly.

Inclosed is a list of my casualties and a return of prisoners and captured property.*

Referring to the reports* subjoined for details, I have the honor to be, very respectfully, yours,



Lieutenant-Colonel TAYLOR,

Assistant Adjutant-General.


* Not found.