Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 12.djvu/131

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Operations Before Petersburg . 121

pearing in that direction. My men now regained the railroad ; their right, however, resting where their left had been in the morning. The enemy now massed heavily in my front and again advanced, but my men, sheltered by the railroad embankment, drove them back with bu-t little loss to ourselves, and very heavy to them. Between four and five o'clock, the engagement ceased, except the firing of sharp- shooters on either side, and before dark the enemy withdrew from the field.

I had an aggregate of 1,500 men engaged— the enemy at least two brigades. Qur loss was 177 — the enemy's estimated 1,000, and newspaper correspondents from the army of the enemy state that General Brooks with five brigades and one battery of artillery was in our front that day. In the action I was assisted at different times by two pieces of artillery, sent to me at my request from the right, but they did me but little good, getting twice out of ammuni- tion, after very few discharges, and going a half mile to the rear to replenish. In the close of the action, they were not on the field. The Eleventh regiment and Seventh battalion arrived upon the battle field after nightfall, having been delayed upon the cars in coming from South Carolina.

At 12 o'clock that night our whole force at the Junction was with- drawn by General Johnson to the line of Swift Creek.

On the 9th I was ordered to take a part of my brigade and make a reconnoissance in front of this line. I took the Twenty-first, the Eleventh, and a detachment of the Twenty-fifth under Captain Car- son. The object was accomplished, but from the broken and wooded nature of the ground, I became more heavily engaged than I desired with the heavy force in my front, and my loss was severe.

I append a statement of casualties in those actions:

Out of seven field officers taken into the action of the 7th, lour were killed or wounded. The brave Lieutenant-Colonel Dargan, ot the Twenty-first, fell at the head of his men in the crisis of the fight on that day. Colonel Graham was there wounded in two places while cheering on his men. Lieutenant-Colonel Pressley fell at the same place, with a dangerous wound, and refused assistance, ordering forward into line the men who came to take him off the field. Lieu- tenant-Colonel Blake, of the Twenty-seventh, v.'as slightly wounded. Captain Sellars, of the Twenty-fifth, was wounded and returned to the fight after his wound was dressed. My staff— Captain Molony, Lieutenant Martin, Lieutenant Mazyck, and Captain Stoney — were greatly exposed in the discharge of their duties, and behaved with