The column under General Huger, on the Charles City road, marched at daylight from Brightwell's, Wright's brigade being detached and sent across White Oak swamp on the left to see that none of the enemy were left behind. Crossing near Hobson's, General Wright advanced his brigade down the north side until (about two o'clock) he met the column under General Jackson. He then returned, at General Jackson's request, and endeavored to force a passage at Brackett's crossing, but found it too well protected, and was compelled to ascend the swamp to a point opposite Fisher's, where he crossed by a cow path and rejoined Huger's division.
Only four shots were fired in reply before Captain Hazzard was killed, and the battery so crippled that it was compelled to leave the field, abandoning one of its guns, which had been disabled. Seeing the field clear, General Jackson in person, with a regiment of cavalry under Colonel Munford, and a detachment of infantry skirmishers, crossed the swamp at the ford by the side of the bridge and advanced to get the abandoned gun. Before this could be accomplished, however, a second battery opened fire on this ford from behind a dense wood, which screened it from the view of the Confederate artillery, and the cavalry was forced to return through the swamp, a little ways below the bridge. An effort was now made to rebuild the broken bridge, but the enemy were able to fire upon it with accuracy, and the working party was driven off. Meanwhile, the Confederate batteries endeavored to silence this second battery by a random fire through the woods towards its position, but, as might have been expected, without success. The enemy replied with a similar fire from about eighteen guns, and a noisy conflict was maintained all the afternoon with very little loss on either side. The infantry and skirmishers remained across the swamp, but no further effort was made to force a passage, and the troops bivouacked that night where they were halted in the morning.
- Shortly after the commencement of this artillery duel, General Hampton, who commanded a brigade of infantry, in the leading division of Jackson's column, discovered, while reconnoitering, a crossing of the swamp, practicable for infantry, a short distance below the road; and, crossing in person, he made his way up a small tributary ravine which curved to the right and headed near the road some distance beyond the bridge, and found himself on the flank and rear of the infantry which supported the Federal batteries. He returned and explained the situation to General Jackson, and asked permission to take his brigade across and attack, but was refused and ordered first to build a bridge where he had crossed. This, though not necessary, was soon accomplished (it was only prepared for infantry, as it could not be approached by artillery), and its completion was reported to General Jackson, but he made no reply whatever to the report, and took no action upon it. My authority for this statement is General Hampton.