Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 08.djvu/551

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Second Manassas. 539

out Captain Simpson's company (Seventeenth regiment) as skirmishers to the front and right. In a short time he encountered the enemy's skirmishers on our right and in rear of our line. Not being aware that any of our troops were on my right, and seeing the enemy a few mo- ments before display a considerable force in front, which at once moved to the right under cover of a wood, I deemed it prudent to fall back a short distance, feeling assured that the enemy was in force behind his skirmishers. I now sent Major Herbert (Seventeenth regiment) to ascer- tain whether or not we had any troops on my right. On his return, he informed me "there were none immediately on our right." At this time Major Palmer rode up, and I made him acquainted with the fact. I informed him of our situation, and suggested that some troops should be placed on our right. He went off, and in a short time General Dray- ton (with his brigade) reported with orders to relieve me. I then moved east of the railroad, and connected with the Twenty-fourth in

line in rear of the house, keeping in front a line of pickets until

the morning of the thirtieth, connecting with General Drayton on the right, and Colonel Benning, commanding Toombs' brigade, on the left. At 3 o'clock Colonel Hunton (Eighth Virginia), commanding Pickett's brigade, brought the order that this brigade, with the others of your command, were to occupy (at 5 o'clock P. M.) a wood near the Chinn House, in front of the line then occupied by Jenkins and Hunton. General Jenkins, Colonel Hunton and myself then rode forward and viewed the ground. It was agreed that they should advance and oc- cupy the position, while I would support them. At half-past 4 o'clock your aid, Captain Flood, brought me an order to move forward in haste to the support of Jenkins and Hunton. I promptly obeyed, and over- took the two brigades advancing. I at once put my command in line about two hundred and fifty yards in rear of the two advancing bri- gades, keeping my distance as they moved forward. Near the Chinn House, while under fire of the enemy's infantry and artillery, I pushed forward, changing front so as to cover the ground just before occupied by Hunton's (Pickett's) brigade. In passing the Chinn House it was necessary to face the Twenty-fourth regiment (Colonel Terry) to the left and file to the right. After passing this obstacle it came into line beautifully, and the whole line then became hotly engaged. At this time, discovering a battery of the enemy to the left and in rear of the Chinn House, I ordered a charge of the whole line. The order was gallantly responded to and brilliantly executed, the enemy being driven, from their guns. Great gallantry was displayed by all engaged. Lieu.-