War of the Rebellion: Serial 108 Page 1226 MD., E. N. C., PA., VA., EXCEPT S. W., & W. VA. Chapter LXIII.

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advanced position about one mile in front of our principal line of battle, to support a battery and a line of skirmishers which had been established at that point for the purpose of holding the enemy in check until our principal line of battle could be formed in the rear. The positions thus assigned were held by us for one hour and a half, during one hour of which we were subjected to a heavy artillery and musketry fire, and we did not leave it until all our forces stationed there were driven back by the overwhelming advance of the enemy's main column of attack. My battalion was on the extreme left of this advanced line, and as the main attack was on the right, we were compelled to fall back as the troops on the right and center successively gave away. There was at the same time a heavy advance of the enemy on our front, and our left flank was threatened by cavalry, by which some of my men were captured in the movement to the rear. Having been driven from this position, we fell back upon our principal line of battle, and took our position within the line of fortifications which had been hastily thrown up by the main body of our army. The interval which occurred before our principal line was attacked was employed by me men in throwing up arough line of breast-works in an unoccupied point on the extreme left which I had been requested to occupy by Captain Thronton, who was in command of a battalion of the Thirty-sixth Virginia Infantry along that part of the line. Notwithstanding their fatigue, my men went at once to work in filling up this gap, and then awaited the advance of the enemy. The first demonstrations were made by the enemy's cavalry, which drove in our skirmishers, and then advanced within range of our muskets, but were soon repusled. This was soon followed by an advanced within range of our muskets, but were soon repulsed. This was soon followed by an advance of the enemy's infantry in line of battle, which being driven back, was followed by a second attack of similar character after an inerval of three-quarters of an hour, the intervining time being occupied by either side in a desultory but constant skirmishing fire. This second attack of the enemy's main line was repulsed like the first, and no renewal of the attack was made upon the left in line of battle. Such an attack had been proven hopeless, as the position we occupied on the left and the firm bearing of the whole line clearly indicated it would be. We were, however, from this moment subject to a severe artillery fire from a battery of two guns, at a distance of not more than 500 yards, and which became a more severe ordeal than the fire of the enemy's infantry. The incidents thus described occupied a space of two hours, from 12 m. to 2 p. m., and we were at the height of certain victory when we began to find the whole center of our line crowded down upon our left, and discovered that the enemy had availed themselves of an open space in our right center to enter within our lines, and had crowded down our center upon our left, throwing the whole into confusion, and subjecting us to a fire from our front and both our flanks. It was evident the position was no longer tenable, and we followed the example of the veteran troops around us in abandoning the position which we had successfully defended against the three separate attacks which had been made directly upon our front. My loss during the day was 5 killed and 14 wounded and 8 prisoners. Among the cannot but commend the conduct of my men, both for the alacrity with which they obeyed my summons for duty, and the mode in which they discharged that duty in the field, They were armed with only the altered smooth-bore musket, and had no bayonets or cartridge-boxes; and although thus unequally armed, they were placed in the most