moved toward Rice's Station. About midday, immediately after crossing a little stream within about two miles of Sailor's Creek, the enemy's cavalry made an attack upon a portion of General Anderson's column, about a mile in advance of us, at the point where the wagon train turned off the right, causing some delay and confusion in the train. The cavalry was soon driven off, and my division, followed by General Kershaw's, closed upon General Anderson. About this time the enemy attacked our train at the stream we had shortly before crossed, and appeared in heavy force to the left of our line of march between this stream and Sailor's Creek, which, measured on the road we traveled, are about two miles apart. Word was also received from General Gordon that the enemy was pressing him heavily. To cover the wagon train and prevent General Gordon from being cut off, line of battle was formed along the road and a strong line of skirmishers was thrown out, which drove back the enemy's skirmishers, and held him in check until General Gordon came up in the rear of the wagons, which must have been from one to two hours after the skirmishing commenced.
So soon as General Gordon closed up, my division, following General Anderson's rear and followed by General Kershaw, moved on across Sailor's Creek toward the point where General Pickett was understood to be engaged with the enemy's cavalry, which had cut the line of march in the interval between him and General Mahone. General Gordon having filed off to the right after the wagon trains, the enemy's cavalry followed closely upon General Kershaw's rear, driving it across Sailor's Creek, and soon after the enemy's infantry [said to be the Sixth Corps] massed rapidly in our rear. To meet this movement General Kershaw's division formed on the right and mine on the left of the road upon which we were moving, our line of battle being across the road, facing Sailor's Creek, which we had not long passed. Before my troops got into position to enemy opened a heavy fire of artillery upon our lines, which was continued up to the time of our capture. After shelling our lines and skirmishing for some time, an hour or more, the enemy's infantry advanced and were repulsed, and that portion which attacked the artillery brigade was charged by it and driven back across Sailor's Creek. This brigade was then brought back to its original position in line of battle under a heavy fire of artillery. Finding that Kershaw's division, which was on my right, had been obliged to retire, in consequence of the enemy having turned his right flank, and that my command was entirely surrounded, to prevent useless sacrifice of life the firing was stopped by some of my officers, aided by some of the enemy's and the officers and men taken as prisoners of war.
I cannot too highly praise the conduct of my command, and hope to have an opportunity of doing it full justice when reports are received from the brigade commanders. Among a number of brave men killed or wounded I regret to have to announce the name of Colonel Crutchfield, who commanded the artillery brigade. He was killed after gallantly leading a successful charge against the enemy. I have also to mourn the loss of Lieutenant Robert Goldsborough, my aide-de-camp, who was mortally wounded by a fragment of a shell, while efficiently discharging his duty.
In the absence of Generals Ewell and Kershaw in a Northern prison, I have endeavored to give the principal facts of the march and capture of the former's command so far as I am acquainted with them, and
82 R R-VOL XLVI, PT I