Gregg's Brigade in the Second Battle of Manassas. 23
regiments the Thirty-seventh, Eighteenth and Seventh North Caro- lina, which became actively engaged no doubt with Colonel Schim- melfenning's brigade, which was on the extreme right of Sigel's corps, and lapping over our left. But General Lane, who made the report, makes very light of the affair. He, himselr, with the Twenty- eighth and Thirty-third North Carolina had been sent by General Branch to dislodge the enemy who were in the woods beyond the cornfield on our left, but learning, he says, that the enemy were in force in the woods, and that General Gregg had been ordered not to press them, he informed General Branch, and was ordered by him to remain where he was. *
All this took place, as you will remember, before ten o'clock, and I cannot but think, on reading the Federal reports, that the results of the reconnoissance, on which the First was sent, were far more impor- tant than could have been contemplated when a single regiment was ordered " to feel the enemy." The audacity of the attack of the First, the dash with which it was supported by the Twelfth, and the promptness and vigor of the Thirteenth and Rifles in meeting Mil- roy, seem to have disconcerted the enemy and checked his advance upon the position which we were to hold so tenaciously for the rest of the day. Judging from the Federal reports, and the further action of Sigel, we must have crippled his corps beyond what could have been expected.
It was now about 10 o'clock. Our position in the morning had scarcely been regained when the enemy were reported advancing in force through the woods from which we had just retired. Four companies of the First were again sent forward under Captain Shooter, by General Gregg's order, as skirmishers, to meet them. Colonel Edwards, with the Thirteenth, was placed in the position held by the First previous to our advance, and with the remaining six companies of our regiment I was placed by General Gregg in position about twenty yards in rear of the Thirteenth. The Twelfth was some distance in rear of the First. The Fourteenth and Rifles confronting the cornfield to the left. These positions had scarcely been taken when the skirmishers of the First were driven back before the advance of the enemy in force, and falling back across the rail- road, the companies formed in their places upon the wings of the regiment. They had scarcely done so before the breaking of the
- Reports Army Northern Virginia, volume II, page 273; Rebellion
Records, volume XII, part 2, page 676.