378 Southern Historical Society Papers.
directing one, our line was placed in a position to continue the advance, which we immediately resumed. Our direction was now diagonally across the fields. The enemy's line in front of my regi- ment rested on the summit of a commanding hill on the west or farther side of the field, along which ran a thickly wooded forest, and I had to encounter their fire, delivered from this advantageous posi- tion, before they were driven from it, and after they gave way 1 suf- fered considerably while passing over this hill by a fire delivered from the high ground in the woods beyond the field.
We passed two or three pieces of artillery on this hill, which I suppose the enemy had failed to put into position before we were upon them. We pressed forward, crossed the fence (which was afterwards used for making breastworks), and passed about one hun- dred yards into the woods, where we were halted by General Ker- shaw, as I understood, until General Humphries could come up on our right.
Soon afterwards, hearing firing on our right, which I suppose was General Humphries, we were again ordered forward. We pressed on under a very severe infantry and artillery fire, from which my regiment suffered very heavily until we got within about fifty yards of the enemy's line posted on a strong and elevated position on (what I am informed was) Peavine ridge.
Here the fire directed against my regiment was very deadly. In the meantime, the regiment immediately on my right (and which had already obliqued much too far to the right of mine) veered still further to the right, and left a gap between us, I suppose, of at least three hundred yards. With my right flank thus exposed, and my line terribly thinned by the galling fire that still raged in my front, and with no signs of a continued advance on my left, I found it im- possible to advance farther with any advantage, and I, therefore, halted and returned the enemy's fire as effectively as I could. I directed an officer to report my surroundings to General Kershaw, who sent an order to retire behind a low ridge just in front of the fence, which ran along the northern side of the field and which we had just before crossed. Here the line was reformed and, seeing the importance of holding this position, I directed my men, in the lull of battle which then ensued, to bring forward the rails from the fence mentioned to make a rude breastwork just behind the crest of the ridge, where we had taken position. Soon afterwards the enemy advanced against us, but were very handsomely repulsed by the cool and deliberate fire of our then thinned line. An irregular fire was