Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 12.djvu/471

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Operations in Front of Petersburg. 461

rear, and we were compelled to fall back. This was done slowly and the enemy endeavoring to charge us, was driven back into his works. My men, under orders, laid down in the oats about half way between the two hostile entrenchments to await Anderson's advance and then go with him. Numbers of them, however, got back as far as our rifle- pits before spoken of, and were allowed to remain there with the same orders as the more advanced line. None of them came back to our entrenchments, except the few skulkers whom every attack develops, and in this instance I am pleased to say that they were very few.

How much time was occupied in these movements I am unable to say accurately, as I did not look at my watch again. When the vigor of my attack was broken, however, and my men had begun to fall back, the left of Benning's brigade, moving by a flank, reached the right of the entrenchments I had left in advancing, and there stopped. A discussion between Major-Generals Hoke and Field took place, and after some delay this brigade moved in and was ready to ad- vance. General Anderson's report will explain the delay in his arri- val. The report of Lieutenant-Colonel Dubose, commanding Ben- ning's brigade, will show the time of his arrival and the then condi- tion of affairs. Major- General Hoke was on the ground during the whole morning and can speak of his personal knowledge.

The order for attack being countermanded, I kept out all day as many of my men as the rifle-pits would hold, withdrawing the rest by squad. At night all were withdrawn and the regiments reorgan- ized. My loss was about a third of the force engaged, twenty-five being killed, seventy-three wounded, and two hundred and eight missing. Among the missing are, I fear, many killed and wounded who fell nearest the enemy's entrenchments.

The gallant Lieutenant-Colonel Nelson is missing, it is hoped not killed. Captain Axson, Twenty-seventh regiment, was killed at the head of his company. Lieutenants Huguenin and Trim, of the Twenty-seventh; Lieutenants Chappell, Ford and V'auduford, Twen- ty-first, and Lieutenant Smith, Eleventh, were wounded. Captains Mulvaney and Buist were captured upon the enemy's works, the lat- ter after receiving two wounds * Captain Rayson and Lieutenant Riley, Eleventh regiment ; Lieutenant White, Twenty-seventh regi-

^A mistake.