Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 12.djvu/380
370 Southern Historical Society Papers.
upon the valor and discipline of his men. Owing to the fact that General Heth's troops were expected to arrive by the road by which the enemy advanced, they were permitted to approach very close to our lines, and it was not until Lieutenant-Colonel Strother, Fourth Virginia Cavalry, was sent to reconnoitre, that it was ascertained who they were ; he having walked into their line of skirmishers, which were so near to ours that the questions asked him were dis- tinctly heard by our troops. At another of the temporary halts upon this march to check the enemy in the vicinity of Namozine Church, that very excellent North Carolina brigade of W. H. F. Lee's division suffered severely. The troops had been placed in motion again to resume the march. This brigade was the rear of the column, and I was obliged to retain it in position to prevent the enemy from attacking the remainder of the command. Whilst get- ting in motion, their rapidly arriving forces soon augmented the troops it was so gallantly holding in check, and produced a concen- tration impossible for it to resist. Its commander, Brigadier-Gene- ral Barringer, was captured whilst in the steady discharge of his duties, and his loss was keenly felt bv the command. I also had the great misfortune to be deprived of the services of my most efficient and untiring Adjutant-General, Major J. Dugin Fergusson, who was captured about the same time, and whose assistance, always impor- tant, was especially desirable at this time.
Reporting to the Commanding General at Amelia C. H. on the 5th, I was ordered to move with my command on the Paynesville road to protect the wagon-train, a porton of which was reported to have been attacked by some of the enemy's cavalry. W. H. F. Lee was detached and sent in advance of Longstreet, who was moving from the Court House towards Jetersville. I found the enemy had attacked and burned a portion of the cavalry train, including my own headquarter wagons, and had retreated again towards Jetersville. I started at once in pursuit, and soon closed up on Gary with his brigade, who had been previously dispatched in that direction and was engaging their rear near Paynesville. Reinforcing him, the enemy were rapidly driven within a mile of Jetersville, where their infantry were formed in large force. (A dispatch captured that night showed General Grant to be there in person.) The pursuit was dis- continued, and the command placed in camp at Amelia Springs. In this encounter thirty of the enemy were killed, principally with the sabre, and one hundred and fifty wounded and captured. The attack was made with Rosser's division mounted, supported by a