War of the Rebellion: Serial 107 Page 0092 Chapter LXIII. MD., E. N. C., PA., VA., EXCEPT S. W. & W. VA.

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Pryor was called on, and he came up promptly with two battalions. These were directed to form on the right of the Tenth Alabama, and soon as in position a brisk fire began with the enemy and was responded to by our troops. The Tenth Alabama being now supported on its right, I directed the two companies of the Ninth to rejoin their regiment, and the regiments then to move by the left flank so as to uncover the ground occupied by the Nineteenth Mississippi. This movement brought the left of the Ninth Alabama in the open field, and soon into the fallen timber. At this time, about 12 m., the order of General Anderson was to advance and attack the enemy, drive him from the woods and fallen timber, and to take his battery known to be in the field in front. I gave the order to advance, when both men and officers moved forward to the attack with the utmost confidence. This forward movement was necessarily much impeded, the woods being so dense as to render it difficult for a single individual at times to make his way through it. At the instant this advance began a close and brisk fire was opened by the enemy in large force on the Tenth Alabama. This fire continued to increase, and being entirely concentrated upon this regiment it became momentarily disconcerted, so much so as to fall back some seventy-five or eighty yards, but soon recovering and reforming, and being joined by one of General A. P. Hill's regiments that had just arrived, it moved back to its former position, men and officers acting gallantly, advancing resolutely against the enemy and driving him back before them.

At this time one of Brigadier-General Hill's regiments, the First Virginia, was ordered to report to me, and was placed by me in rear of the Ninth Alabama, with orders to follow closely and to support the Ninth Alabama. Soon after this a regiment of General Pickett's brigade was placed in rear of the Nineteenth Mississippi, with orders to follow and support this regiment. The firing had now become general, quick, and sharp throughout our entire front, our men showing the utmost ardor to join in the fight. My brigade being the first on the field, when re-enforcements arrived they reported to me, and I assisted in directing them to their proper places in line. This caused me to be separated during the first part of the engagement from a portion of my own brigade while it was actively engaged with the enemy. In order that the difficulties and obstacles that the ground offered to the advance of our men may be understood properly, it is necessary to make known that there was a ravine in front of a portion of my line that caused the advance, which was already difficult from the density of the forest and its undergrowth, to be much retarded. Midway between the position occupied by the brigade when the advance commenced and the fallen timber was the fence that has been referred to; the enemy in front of this force were strong in numbers, and in close proximity to ours, concealed behind trees, and in position already selected by themselves. They had many advantages, and showed a disposition to dispute the ground inch by inch; but nothing could resist the impetuosity of our men; they pressed forward and closed in upon the enemy fire quietly to less than thirty yards, the enemy yielding constantly, but slowly. They were at length discovered at and in rear of the fence. Here the firing was continued with the utmost vivacity for fifteen or twenty minutes, the enemy showing much boldness and confidence and leaving heaps of his dead as evidence of the obstinacy of his resistance. At length they gave way before the Nineteenth Mississippi and retired, keeping up the fire and pursued by our men till finally they sought refuge and shelter in the fallen timber. It was but a short distance in