maintain it long before the heavy attacks in front and flank which fell upon them, as soon as their small force was appreciated, and they were soon to retreat. The Seventeenth Virginia following in rear of the rest of the brigade had also become much scattered in its rapid movements in the forest, but considerable portions of it came out in time to assist in covering the retreat of their comrades, whom the enemy pursued back into the woods. Here the regiments became so scattered that they were only collected together again after some hours, and they bore no further part in the action. The total loss in the brigade in this charge was four hundred and twenty-four, of whom one hundred and seventy-five were captured.
Meanwhile, about the time that Kemper had penetrated the enemy's lines, Pickett's brigade, under Colonel Strange, and Branch's brigade of A. P. Hill's division were hurried forward to his support. The difficulties of the forest, however, prevented their arrival in time to take advantage of his success, and after passing the fragments of this brigade in retreat, Branch and Strange (the latter on the right) became engaged within the wood with the pursuing enemy, and drove him back into the field. On the edge of this field Branch halted, where a projection of the wood placed him within range of the battery which Kemper had assaulted (Kern's), and opening fire upon it he succeeded in silencing it and driving off its cannoneers. Strange, emerging on the field about this time, made a gallant charge on the position, and, after a sharp affair with its supports, took the battery and held it permanently, turning its guns upon the enemy, and completely routing Seymour's brigade.While these operations were taking place upon the right, the conflict had also been taken up upon the centre by Andrews' battery of Hill's division, and by R. H. Anderson's brigade under Colonel Jenkins. Moving forward at the same time with Pickett's brigade, Jenkins made his way through the woods, bearing more to the left
- A large part of those captured fell into the hands of a brigade (probably of Hooker's division) which was in the very wood from which Kemper started, its line of battery being perpendicular to the original line of Kemper's brigade, and not twenty rods distant from his flank during the whole afternoon. A courier, bearing a message from the skirmish line to the line of battle, about fifty yards off, before the charge was made, lost his direction and fell into their hands; and after the charge, Lieutenant-Colonel Marye, and a number of men and officers of the Seventeenth in returning, as they thought to their original position, walked directly upon this brigade and were captured. Strange to say beyond making these captures, it took no part in the action, and its position was never known or suspected by the Confederates.