War of the Rebellion: Serial 107 Page 0093 Chapter LXIII. BATTLE OF WILLIAMSBURG, VA.

Search Civil War Official Records

front of the fence that the brave colonel of the Nineteenth Mississippi, Colonel C. H. Mott, fell gallantly leading and cheering on his men. At the fallen timber the pursuit of the enemy, owing to the difficulty of getting over the brush and piles of logs, was much delayed, the logs affording an excellent cover for thhe brush proved to be quite a serious barrier to our advance. These fallen logs served almost as a succession of breast-works, behind which the retiring enemy successively sheltered themselves. It was with the greatest difficulty that officers could in the standing timber see and properly direct their men; but these difficulties were much increased in the abatis or fallen timber. The Nineteenth Mississippi, after having driven the enemy successively back to the fence, then from the fence back to the fallen timber, thus terminating successfully what may be called the first attack of that regiment, proceeded to engage the enemy in his new position on the right, and continued in the fight until the close of the hotly-contested battle, at first co-operating with General Hill in his attack against the enemy in his new position, and subsequently with General Pryor on the extreme right. During all this time they were ably commanded by their lieutenant-colonel, Lamar, Colonel Mott having fallen before reaching the fence.

At this abatis many of our men replenished their cartridge-boxes with ammunition taken from the cartridge-boxes and knapsacks of the enemy's dead, and then renewed the fight. Fresh troops also came to the front and continued the advance through the fallen timber, slowly driving the enemy from log to log. At 2.30 or 3 o'clock, while near the fallen timber, and not more than 250 or 300 yards from the enemy's battery in the field, I saw that our men had on the left advanced considerably into the fallen timber, and appeared to be not far from the battery. At this time, by order of General Anderson, I directed the Twenty-eighth Virginia, that was under cover of the fallen timber, to advance. They moved to the front through the logs and brush with alacrity and in as good order as the difficulties of the ground would permit. Passing by and to the left of the Twenty-eighth Virginia, I saw that our men were not far from the enemy's battery, having approached to within seventy-five or eighty yards. The pieces had ceased to fire, but were defended by the infantry beyond, who, under cover, were firing over the battery (already deserted) at our own men. This firing was kept up sharply for some minutes, when our men made a rush at the battery, which was taken in fine style; and not stopping to gather trophies, they pursued the enemy beyond the battery and drove him into the wood 200 yards distant. Twenty-five or thirty prisoners were taken beyond the battery. The battery was entered first by Captains Warren's and Smith's companies, Ninth Alabama, and Lieutenant Jones, of the Nineteenth Mississippi, with the colors, and twenty or thirty men of Captain Mullins' company of that regiment. The remaining companies of the Ninth followed the First-named companies. Soon after our men were in the battery two shots were fired into the battery from one of our redoubts. In order that our artillery might know that the battery was ours, Lieutenant Jones, Nineteenth Mississippi, mounted one of the pieces and waved the flag of his regiment. Upon reaching the battery a few minutes after it was taken, I found the Ninth Alabama and a small portion of the Nineteenth Mississippi, and the Twenty-eighth Virginia, just having entered the battery; and being apprehensive that the enemy, who had been seen to retire to the woods beyond, might endeavor to retake the battery, I ordered the troops then there - those above named (Ninth Alabama